Pillow Talk

I love a cold house. Like, ridiculously so. My bedroom at night is downright cold. (You can blame a certain Robb Williford for this. I had no choice but to adapt my body temperature to his arctic preferences.)

But the furnace stopped working yesterday, and the temp in the house was dropping dangerously close to my age. I’m a tough girl, but this I can’t handle. So we loaded up and came to my parents’ house, which meant three things: 1) Tuck could watch Broncos with his favorite comrade, Grandma, 2) Favorite cereals for everyone, 3) Waking up to my dad’s coffee.

It also meant that Tuck and I would be bunkmates. I came to bed after he had fallen asleep, because I’m an adult like that. I nudged him to move over and make room for me. He looked at me with narrow, sleepy eyes and pillow creases across his cheek. “Um, no, Mommy. I’m going to sleep on this side. Sorry about that.”

I forgive you. And I’ll sleep on the far side.

“Mommy, can I have that fuzzy blanket you brought up?”

“No, because you get to sleep on that side.”

He rolled over to face me, now fully awake. He looked at the book in my hands, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen. (Love. Her.)

“Mommy, what does that say across the top? Number One… New… York… Tim’s… Boat Stealer.”

“Close.  Actually, it says #1 New York Times Bestseller. The New York Times is a newspaper, and they keep track of the books people love most. That means this is a book that America loves.”

He traced the letters. I said, “That’s one of my dreams, Tuck. I would love for one of my books to say that on the cover.”

He held the book out to me, “Well, look! You already have a book that says that!”

“No, I mean I book that I write. I hope someday one of the books I have written will be a New York Times Bestseller.”

“Ohhhhh…” A look of recognition. Aha. So it’s not just about collecting NYTBS, although there is great merit in that.

He opened my book, naturally filled with doodles and notes, circles and scalloped underlines. He said, almost out of the side of his mouth like he was speaking a secret we keep together, “Mommy, I told my teacher about this. I told her that you write in books.”

“Oh, did you?”

“Yes. I told her I think you underline the very best sentences, and probably also any words you don’t know.” The second grade version of ‘interacting with the text.’

I smiled. “Yep. That’s pretty much how it goes, buddy. Do you ever write in books?”

My rule-follower looked at me wide-eyed. “No. I definitely do not.”

I situated my pillow under my head as he found my bookmark, a 3×5 card with one of my favorite quotes scripted in my handwriting. He asked me to read it to him.

“It says, ‘Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. It takes so much time and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies,’ and it’s written by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors.”

He rolled onto his back and said, “A million moments.”

I think this is one of them.

Twice in Three Days

I fell down the steps on Saturday. Just the last two steps. I wasn’t paying attention to which step I was on, I thought I was on the last one, and I rolled my ankle.

This happened just a few hours before I hosted a dinner party at my house – which I might say was no less a Dinner Party of All Parties. (More on this later.) For now, I will say it is a humbling thing to be the sitting hostess. But humility seems to be my companion these days.

Swollen, puffy, purple.
Iced, elevated, miserable.
I spent a couple of days that way.

And then I’d like to tell you that it just didn’t get better so I went in for X-rays. But since I choose to be honest, vulnerable, transparent, and ridiculous sometimes, I’ll tell you the blue-sky honest truth.

It was nearly better. And then I fell down the stairs yesterday. This time, from the top. Rolled my ankle. The same ankle. And by the time I stopped tumbling and hissing words I only say when the boys aren’t home, my ankle had swollen round and was instantly bruising like a banana.

Okay, one fall down the stairs is permissible. Even one we might feel compassion for. But for crying out loud, two falls in three days? Tricia, hold on to the freaking railing.

It’s not necessarily a good sign when you can recognize the staff and exam rooms of the ER.

“Oh, we’ve been here before.”
“I remember this exam room.”
“I think she’s the same girl who took my insurance information last time.”
“His name is Dr. Lung. What are the odds that someone named after anatomy would proceed into medical school?”
I remembed Dr. Lung. And I remembered that we stabbed at this cheap pun the last time he was our attending physician.

Keeping with the theme of forced humility, I had to tell various medical personnel that this was a recurring injury. I had fallen down the stairs. Twice.

On a side note, while the doctor was examining my ankle (and my knee and my shoulder, each of which had been unresaonbly strained in my attempts to rescue myself), I was surprised by the comfort of skin-to-skin contact. His warm hand on my ankle. Skin on skin. It doesn’t happen often; I didn’t know I was missing it. There were no sparks of electricity between me and the doctor, but I forgot how essential and comforting is the gift of touch.

I miss it.

Anyway, X-rays show no fractures (and the X-ray tech had the shortest neck I’ve ever seen; his head looked precariously balanced directly on his shoulders), but I have some badly sprained ligaments. So I’m splinted, iced, and confined to the couch for the next three days at least.

And so, I am resting. Oh, my great day, I am resting.  I shall spend the day with the writings of Shauna Niequist, Brene Brown, Natalie Goldberg, and Donald Miller.  With a sprinkling of Percocet or Vicodin.  (Which means I’ll probably need to reread everything later.)