Saturday, January 07, 2006

My Luck, My Luck, My Crappy Lady Luck

My year seems to be off to a great start.

On Thursday, I went out to lunch, and, while I was eating, without any warning, my contact popped out and disappeared. It had a power of minus 6.5 whatever it is you measure contact power in. Basically, it means that, without my contacts, I’m blind as a bat. I managed to get by just fine on one eye for the rest of my workday, but the 20-mile drive home on the interstate, in the dark, in the snow, during the rush hour, with my right eye pretty much not working, was big joyous fun – better than an action movie.

Friday morning, I took both kids out of school for what was going to be a brief doctor’s appointment and a quick lunch. I had every intention of bringing them both back to their schools. When we came out of the doctor’s, my tire was flat. Without going into details, let me just say that the kids got to skip school that day.

Friday afternoon, I found out, by pure accident, that LilProgrammer’s new therapist – the one he has just started seeing after I spent a year trying to get on her schedule – the really good one – no longer takes my insurance.

You want a piece of me, 2006?! Bring it on, Dawg!

At this point, I wonder – will 2006 be one of my really crappy years? I sure hope not. First of all, my really crappy years never start off like that. Instead, they kind of creep up on me. One minute, it’s a perfectly normal year, and next thing you know, you’re in deep brown substance with no idea of how to get out. I’ve had two really crappy years in my life, and they were 1996 and 2000.

The strange thing, though, is that, during each of my really crappy years, something really good also happened. It’s almost like things were consciously balancing themselves out. (Could it be divine intervention?)

My year 2000 started out perfectly normal, except we accidentally hit the sleeping ChinchillaBoy with a champagne cork during the New Year celebrations, waking him up and making him very mad. Next thing we knew, CB came down with a bad case of fimosis and had to have an emergency circumcision. He stayed home for two weeks until he healed, then went back to daycare.

On his second day back at daycare, he fell off a 3-foot ladder and broke his elbow. He was in horrible pain for several weeks. The nerves were hit. He could not move his fingers on that hand for six months, even after physical therapy. He stayed in the hospital overnight, had surgery, and had steel pins in his bone for a month. He was 4.5 years old.

We were going to have him tested for early school entrance that summer, since he was only two weeks behind the cutoff date. Naturally, we had to cancel the test and CB got himself an extra year in preschool.

Two weeks after that, Mr. Goldie and I got into a terrible argument (for a variety of very valid reasons that I will not list here) and almost split up. Right after that, Mr. Goldie went on vacation to visit his family. While he was gone, my Dad had a heart attack. That made me the only driver in the family, which can get kind of challenging if you work full-time. I didn’t pick up Dad from the hospital, because they decided to release him three hours early, and when they tried to call me, the line was busy. I was at home watching the kids and posting on the Internet, waiting for the time to come when I was supposed to pick Dad up. Like everybody else in 2000, we had dial-up, so I essentially hogged the phone line. Dad arrived shortly in a friend’s car and he wasn’t too happy.

A few months after Mr. Goldie returned from vacation, he got sick. The kindly doctor told him right away that he was suspecting bone cancer. So, when a week later it turned out to be bone infection, we were all actually relieved. He was in the hospital for a week, had two surgeries, and had steel pins in his bones (forgive me if I’m repeating myself) for about two months.

What a fun year. It makes me tired just to type all this. I distinctly remember having the unpleasant feeling that someone up there was out to get me and my family. As soon as one bad thing ended and I got up on my feet, life threw me another punch. But, it was during the same year that I found my current job; took up league bowling; met my friends from group #2 (through the bowling); got close with my friends from group #1 (or “Russian Crew” as ChinchillaBoy calls it); and LilProgrammer had an absolutely amazing teacher, who actually understood him, was able to help him succeed in school, and recommended him for the gifted program a year before his test results came in. Oh, and ChinchillaBoy made the most of his extra year in preschool by being in the center of a popular group. He still speaks fondly of his glory days in daycare.

Same thing with 1996. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, let me just say that it involved one hospital stay for me, four weeks total in the hospital for ChinchillaBoy, two months at home on quarantine for LilProgrammer (he caught dysenteria in the daycare, and actually shut down his entire class for a month), and (this is really sad) a funeral for a 18-month-old in our close family. Oh, and Mr. Goldie and I almost split up – I know, I know, repeating myself again.

But, in the same year, ChinchillaBoy learned to walk and talk and play with other kids (including his big brother), and our papers for America finally came through. By the end of 1996, we were all packed, tickets in our hands, and ready to leave. I believe this was the best thing that ever happened to us as a family. And it happened during a really crappy year. Go figure.

So I guess this all means that, even if I am indeed looking at another really crappy year, something good will happen anyway.

May this year go easy on you, reader. May it bring you a lot of fun and exciting events, and just enough crappy stuff to appreciate the good things you’ve got. (The crappy stuff is optional.)

The Goldie has spoken at 9:23 PM

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