Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally, the Hospital Spoke

One and a half months of "bad outcomes". A cutter who cuts and cuts and cuts at all hours and all times seemingly without prejudice and without insight, who refuses help from the vastly more experienced. A surgeon who is a ghost everywhere but in the OR. A floor, a unit left to mop up the mess. An unusually slow day followed by a day with a suddenly and unexpectedly cleared surgical schedule. Chaos with patients -- operate on them or feed them, but please don't do neither. The next day, waiting, watching, a patient goes down for surgery and then...nothing. Whispers become words which become sighs of relief. 8 hours later, service is shifted to others. I am nearly crying my thanks that my dear, sweet, independent 91 year old patient will have his surgery and will probably have a "good outcome".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How Do You Mother Girls?

Really, how do you be a good mother to girls when there isn't a constant male influence around? My small people get brushed by male influences here and again (much older brothers who are chasing their own futures and the man who is off and on in my life), but for the most part, what they get is me. They get my good and my not so good; they get my great but they also get my crazy. Small One reminds me that Appointment Guy told me not to worry about what I can't control. My 9 year old remembers to ground me. I can't decide if that is great or if it sucks.

None the less, we march on. We know how to grill. We know how to change car tires and how to fix toilets (sort of). We remember trash day and recycling day most of the time. We do pedicures and manicures and fashion shows. We applaud each other with our successes and commiserate after our failures. The small people bicker and fuss. I try to mediate that, but if that doesn't work, I send them to opposite corners. There is a lot of estrogen in my household, and lordy lordy, that estrogen level is going nowhere but up. Small One has her first training bra. It isn't physically necessary, but her little self is ready for that step. I need to mother these girls so hard core that they get through their adolescence knowing that they are fabulous people, that they are fabulous females. With or without males. The Small Ones need to be awesome people because they are just that.

I am teaching us to kayak. We hike and we bike ride. We have seen wonders when we are motor-less. Having dolphin playing with you in a kayak is so much more wonderful than having dolphin jump the waves when you are traveling in a fast boat (although the cool factor is totally there....Hollywood Dolphin!) Watching manatee in the bay next to your still boat as you are picnicking is priceless. I am teaching them to stick their fingers and feet and sometimes noses into the earth so that they can learn to be part of the big What Is. I am teaching them to grow things. We talk about what kind of garden we will have when we buy our house this fall. I am also trying to get over my fear of spiders and bugs, but that isn't going so well.

They see me sweat, they see me run and bike and work. They see me do all of the things that two parents do. And I can do that. I can work hard at a supremely intensive job. The Small Ones know how intense it is. They ask about it. We talk about it almost every time I come home from work. Does it surprise anyone that I am not bringing up a nurse? They see the hard and rightly do not see any glamor. They see me take care of all the things that Moms take care of, and they see me take care of lots of the things that Dads take care of, too. Because when it comes down to brass tacks, one person can really do all of it. Except the brownies and the cakes and goodies because while I can cook, I hate to bake. And I don't have a pickup truck or a 6-12 foot ladder, so that kind of limits me, too.

How do you mother girls? How do you make them strong and smart and resilient? How do you bring them up to be steadfast and almost, but not quite, impermeable to the crap that's going to hit them from every front? I have beautiful, smart, sweet, strong small people. I want them to come through these next years running, running balls to the wall, and emerge on the other side just glowing with possibilities.

We fed turtles flowers. Hibiscus flowers. Who knew that hibiscus flowers were the preferred treat for turtles? Small One and Smallest of All know that. I hope they carry that knowledge with them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Please don't leave the empties

Just so we're clear: When you are discharged from the hospital for "near-syncope", "falls", and "disorientation", please don't leave your empty wine bottle under the bed. Even if it is just one out of those little 4-bottle packs. Trust me, the housekeepers will find it, and they will bring it to me. And then I will be royally ticked off that I gave you as much xanax as I did because I was unaware that you were already self-medicating. (Although, finding that little treasure brought much hilarity to the unit, so I guess it was worth something) And know this: next time you are admitted -- and there will be a next time -- know that I will turn your belongings inside out and I will make doubly sure to do so after your "boyfriend" visits.

Please don't notice that I am not blogging about running. Yes, I have a relay to run in a month. Don't remind me. I plan on running A WHOLE LOT in the next 2 weeks or so...and I can say mostly with confidence that I will do just that because I will be (drum roll, please) on vacation at the beach for 2 weeks! I have 4 novels, enough for a week, I hope. I have happy small and not so small people, and I have sunscreen. And a lot of groceries that have to fit into my Honda. Bikes? Check. Bathing suits? Check. Beach chair? Check. Margarita mixer and some wine? Check and check.

I had two big milestones for this year, a goal and a treat. The goal was to train for and run a marathon. I have Bayshore in my pocket. The treat was 2 weeks on Sanibel Island. Oh man....I can almost smell the salt water now. 14 days of sun and surf and sand. 14 days of no clocks, of getting up when we are ready, eating when we are hungry and sleeping when we are tired. 14 days of no schedules. 14 days of "AHHHH".

A goal and a treat. It is going to be juicy. I can tell.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Divorce battles over children are exquisitely horrible. Even when the terms and conditions are spelled out so that a 1st grader could understand them, those terms and conditions fall victim to the vagaries of someone with a grudge and an agenda.

I would post more about this tonight, but all I have in my arsenal is hate and vitriol. And I chose not to go there.

KT was supposed to be with me today. She was not. I am sad, and I am sure that she is sad, too.