Whatever psychopath invented working in the summer needs to die.
During the school year, faced with the proposition of cleaning my house, framing my photos, putting my clothes actually on a hanger instead of throwing them on my chair – I always choose work.
I work part-time so I can enjoy small luxuries, like going to the gym or the grocery store before work. My work day is usually no more than 6 hours long and I am home by 5, so I really can’t complain…..until the summer.
There has been a heat wave in Connecticut for the past 2 weeks. When I wake up in the morning and see blazing sunshine out the window and know that the temperature will reach 95, the last thing I want to do is go to work.
While my children are slapping on sunscreen and hopping on their bikes to go to camp, I can be found doing hideous things that should never occur during the summer months, like blow-drying my hair and putting on pants.
Needless to say I really look forward to my days off.
This week, after work or other commitments prevented me from going to the beach for 8 straight days! – I was looking forward to Tuesday. Tuesday was slated to be 93 degrees and I had nothing to do except enjoy the sunshine.
I made plans to go clamming for the first time with a friend and her boyfriend and daughter. I sent the kids to camp and hopped on their boat. Off we went to wade in the water and dig for clams. This is not an activity that would normally appeal to me…but it was glorious.
It wasn’t the mucky – wear an ugly boot and walk around type of clamming. Our type of clamming -was more like “glamming.” We just were in shallow waters in the ocean and we kind of crawled around digging with our fingers into the sand. It was sunny and salty and very gratifying…
We didn’t even mind ruining our manicures….it was very relaxing….
We finished clamming in time to head back so I could pick up the boys from camp with 2 buckets filled with clams. We were beyond ecstatic. I headed home to make lunches and was looking forward to relaxing on the beach for the afternoon and then cooking a delicious clam sauce and baked stuff clams for dinner.
Everything was dreamy and perfect.
I couldn’t wait to get to the beach and frolic in the surf.
Suddenly my sister-in-law came screeching home holding Michael up while he cried and leaned on her, hopping on one foot while the other one dripped with blood.
“He stepped on a rusty wire at camp and I didn’t know you were home – so I picked him up,” she explained.
“Are you ok?” I asked with confusion, trying to process how one steps on a rusty wire at camp, and praying that it was just a scratch as I lifted his foot on a chair to get a closer look.
“There was a ton of blood everywhere when I got him – like puddles of blood – but we got the bleeding under control….he probably needs a tetanus shot.” she said over Michael’s wails. “It was an old rusty wire that used to be attached to a telephone pole – someone snipped the wires and they were hidden in the grass.”
I peered at the wound. It was a puncture wound – so it didn’t look like much – but his foot was dirty from running around barefoot. A tetanus shot was not part of my dreamy beach day plan.
“Do you think you’re fine Michael?” I asked impatiently.
“NO! I CAN’T WALK!!” he cried in despair.
“So can we go to the beach?” I asked desperately over his cries.
“NO MOM!!” he yelled.
“He needs a tetanus shot!” my mother yelled at me.
I was going to cry. Didn’t anyone care about my beach day?
“Yeah – I think you need to call the doctor,” my sister-in-law said cautiously.
I called the doctor and explained what happened. “I think you better get him a tetanus shot,” the nurse advised. “Well we are away at the beach – like how soon does he need it?” I asked expectantly.
“Within 24 hours.”
“Or what will happen? Will he die?” I was really desperate to get to that beach.
“Well – he will get tetanus.” she explained.
“Well what the hell is that??? Isn’t that like an illness from the 1800’s?” I asked like an idiot.
“Yes….nobody gets it now because they get tetanus shots.” she was losing her patience and I was losing my chance of seeing the beach.
I slammed the phone down.
“Get in the car Michael,” I screeched. “Now I will never go to the beach because you refuse to wear footwear,” I growled as I grabbed my car keys and helped him hop out the door.
“I hope you’re happy now that we will be spending the day in the emergency room for 5 hours waiting because you want to run around the world barefoot…..WHO DOESN’T WEAR SHOES!!!” I screamed.
He cried harder as we pulled out of the driveway.
We arrived at the emergency clinic, me in my bathing suit and coverup, with sand and salt still all over my body from my clamming expedition – and were told we had at least an hour to wait.
The best case scenario, I could be on the beach with an injured bloody child by 3:30…I wasn’t going to let it go.
I used my waiting time to call every single person I could think of that was responsible for the rusty wires in the grass and rip them a new asshole. I was completely out of control.
“Are you mad at me?” Michael whimpered, after I had finished calling the last person I could think of, “a stupid moron.”
I looked over at him and realized that all I had done for the past hour was think about myself. I had been mad at everyone about the wires and mad at Michael for running around without shoes like Conan the Barbarian, and I hadn’t once comforted him.
I realized even more how horrible of a mother I was, when we finally got into see a doctor and they spent 20 minutes irrigating and digging out his wound….
When all was said and done and his foot was wrapped up – I had to ask the nurse important questions about his health and wellness.
“So…um…can he like…go to the beach?” I asked casually.
“Yes with it wrapped….in a sock and shoe…and he needs to soak his foot three times a day.” she answered with annoyance.
I finally made it to the beach that afternoon. I was determined! Michael hobbled along with his foot in a shoe, using an old cane he found in my mother’s attic.
But the day was ruined. Not just because my beach day was destroyed or because Michael was hurt. Mostly, because by 4 PM, I couldn’t enjoy my beach book or the sunshine, because I felt guilty.
I was a mean rotten mother.
I failed as a mother this week because I was being selfish and impatient, 2 qualities that are not motherly.
Do I care more about sitting on the beach luxuriously on the beach with the sun beating down on my body turning me into a bronze goddess, while reading a juicy novel, with the sounds of the ocean crashing in my ears, than I do about my child’s foot?
YES NO!!! NO I DON’T!!!
But sometimes….very rarely….
I lose sight of what is important because I am tired or stressed or self-centered.
I admit it.
I was awful and I hope that Michael doesn’t have any lasting damage due to my mean ways.
This post has been a confession of sorts.
Since I am a Catholic- it pretty much relieves me of all guilt…. so thanks for that:)
I know you are all just looking at your phone or computer right now thinking…
It doesn’t matter that you are not a priests.
I feel a little better and…
tomorrow is a new day for mothering.
THANKS FOR LISTENING – DON’T JUDGE MY TANOREXIA – XO, LADYGOOGOOGAGA