Thursday, June 11, 2009

800 pound elephant

The other day, the kids were at the park, and they found a small baby turtle, no bigger than a quarter. I love turtles, and since the fish tank is cleaned and disinfected, my first impulse was to bring the little one home. However, as I told the kids, the turtle would have been happier at home at the lake than in my kitchen. I know I'm happier at the lake than in my kitchen.

But I digress.

Anyway, I realized I don't need ONE MORE THING to take care of. One husband, two cats, two rabbits, three dogs, and three kids, a mom who could die at any minute (and who has been dying at any minute for a full 18 months now), a brother in law who is ill, my sister who needs support, a job, and graduate school--smack me in the forehead--what was I thinking?

So the turtle stayed at the lake and I came home.

EG is having difficulty with things right now, working hard in the yard to keep himself distracted, pruning trees, tearing out brush, chopping wood, easily exasperated at himself because he didn't grow up doing these things, which makes them three times as difficult. He works so hard he falls asleep in his chair in the evening, but then he is restless in the night. The kids have been sleeping off an on all day for the last several overcast days, sleep being an escape from what they are living with.

One thing we have learned through all this is that, if there is an 800 pound elephant in the room, we don't ignore it. In fact, we recognize it and feed it and accept it, despite the mess it brings and all the space and attention it takes.

What I wonder is what we are all going to do when the two elephants are finally gone.

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