So, we’re dealing with what shall be known as “The Great Glasses Adjustment of 2010” (also referred to as “Operation Straight Eyes”) when at some point last night, Stella developed a cold, and some jerk broke into my humble tan sedan. Probably at the same time. I somehow left my now stolen iPhone (which I got for $99, refurbished, so don’t get the wrong idea about my spending habits) on the seat after a late-night grocery run to fetch staples for Stella and dinner ingredients for tonight. And I know what you’re thinking, but no. I don’t resent the fact that the fancy Volvo station wagon parked in front of my dented Ford Focus was left untouched.
We quickly replaced the smashed window, the remnants of which Cody spent the morning cleaning up, rather than working out as planned. He cut his hand, but not too bad. Between optical expenses, ER bills, theft, and broken windows, we are hemorrhaging money. I think I just saw a fat-ass fly ride a twenty dollar bill out the window like it was a magic carpet. Because money is just getting more and more creative about how to get the hell out of here.
Stella’s hypoallergenic formula, a.k.a. gastronomical gold dust, wasn’t covered by insurance after she was weaned from the tube, so for about eight months, we spent $1000 on Elecare every thirty days. Our household ran at a deficit–we haven’t had credit card debt for a long time and didn’t accumulate any, but our savings withered. There were also many, many tube-related ER trips and a hospital stay during that time. Over-the-top expensive, but to be honest we didn’t think much about it, because of the urgency of Stella’s healthcare needs back then. Cost didn’t really matter, because we had our savings to fall back on and because we just wanted her to eat, no matter what it took, and before too long, she did! Well, very recently, we’d finally caught up were able to send a chunk of change to our neglected nest egg. Now we’re taking a step backwards, further away from our financial goals. But that’s life. We’ll bounce back. I’ll get some project work. Come hell or high interest rates, we’ll own a home soon, and we’ll appreciate every nail in every floorboard, every drawer that opens and closes smoothly without creating sawdust, every annoying, costly repair that at least reinforces the home we own.
Do you believe in The Secret? I used to be pretty pumped up by it. Now I’m totally embarrassed about that. The Secret, at least in the form this concept took in the movie, creates the illusion of complete control over life and wealth and circumstances. Yes, that ever-elusive sense of control. Which is probably why I loved it so much at first. Not that there’s no truth contained therein. I do think that our attitude and beliefs to shape our world in powerful ways. But it’s not that simple. Some things really are beyond our control. We can’t avoid all disaster or disappointment or difficulty just by looking in the mirror and telling ourselves how wonderful and perfect our lives, bank accounts, and vision are. But we can choose how to respond, and make the best of it. What an old-fashioned idea.
I’ll buy a new phone, move on, and take care not to leave it or anything else of value in the car. Besides, the joke’s on them! Those stupid thieves didn’t realize Stella’s car seat was worth about three times as much as the iPhone. Though, it’s probably not quite as easy to tote around while lurking in an evil fashion along the streets looking for more shit to steal from stressed out, absentminded moms.
Here’s an attempt at a point. Why am I so quick to blame myself for everything? I don’t think that way about other people. Obviously, Stella didn’t do anything to deserve or “attract” a feeding tube or accommodative esotropia. And all those kids starving in Africa, and those hungry here in this wildly unbalanced country of ours? You think their bellies are grumbling because they don’t know The Secret? Right. I bring this up because part of me does wonder how I could’ve brought all this upon us. (Possible answers: My negative attitude. My dissatisfaction with our rented home and distance from family. My impatience.) But there’s another voice that is out of breath from jumping up and down while yelling loud enough to be heard: “It could be a lot worse, you idiot!” See? Even this voice is self-deprecating. It continues, “You are still very lucky! Remember all the things and people that are right and beautiful and decidedly not stolen!”
And hey, you know what? There’s this. Stella did a pretty fantastic job wearing her glasses today. At some point, she sat on the big chair by the window and counted to ten while smiling. And I got a free triple latte from Fuel today–they said the machine was acting up, but I think the barista knew I needed a boost. It’s a start. I’m grateful for that and a whole lot more.