Today has been a bad day.
It started with two of my four children complaining about their stomachs.
Daughter complained of stomach pain as we drove into the city for class. I urged her repeatedly to stay home. For us to turn around. But no - she would not hear of it. She insisted on going to class.
Meanwhile, before we left - I gave Son #2 permission to stay home. Based on the color of his face and his moaning and rolling around on the couch I was thinking that these were clues that something may be amiss.
After reluctantly leaving Daughter at school, my phone began ringing with the influx of her texts.
"My stomach hurrrrtttttsss."
Once again I patiently told her I would turn around and come back to get her. I encouraged her to just go back home.
But then the next texts came...
"I'll just sit out if I have to."
"It hurts baaadd."
"I'm going to the nurse."
I felt like my head would explode. I began to ignore the texts. Why bother to argue? If she barfed - someone would call me, right?
So I called home to check on Son #2. Hubs informed me that he was taking him to school. Son #2 thought it was best. So off to school they went.
I got home and homeschooled Son #3 and waited to find out the fate of Son #2 and Daughter.
Just as I needed to get in the car to go pick up Daughter at 11:45 - my phone begins chiming with a streak of texts.
"I'm feeling really bad."
"Someone needs to come get me."
Meanwhile Son #2 is also buzzing Son #3's phone -
"Tell Mom and Dad to come get me NOW!"
I go to see Hubs in his office and he agrees to go get Son #2 while I go get Daughter.
As I drive home with Daughter, she shares the story how her ballet teacher could tell that she was not feeling well. She made her sit after 1 1/2 hours of class. She continued to diagnose my daughter with the "flu" and that she should call me to come get her.
We all arrive back at home together again.
Within a couple of hours Daughter feels better and is ready to eat.
Unlike Son #2 who is barfing his brains out upstairs with a temperature of 102.3.
When I go up to check on him he says,
"I really made a mess in there. I am sorry."
Meanwhile my girlfriend calls in the midst of my chaos - I haven't chatted with her in a while and we needed to catch up.
I took the phone call outside - as if that would help me pretend that what was happening inside wasn't real.
Eventually Son #2 sends me a text to come see him.
I return to see him and bring him a drink. I instruct him to sip slowly and then we will see how that goes.
An hour later he has held it down - so I give him an Advil and make my way to his bathroom to begin cleaning the mess.
He calls to me from his bed,
"Mom, you don't need to do that. I'll clean it. I'm sorry."
I couldn't believe he even said it.
I come back downstairs to wash all of the rugs, get the Lysol and take the mess to the garbage can outside.
I opened some windows and tried to air out the germs that I could feel collecting.
As I look around outside - I notice for the first time that it is a beautiful day.
Blue sky, cool breeze, warm sunshine - a gorgeous evening.
When I walk inside I find my family laying on our sectional sofa watching a movie.
Disgusted, I announced,
"I am going to sit outside and eat my dinner (leftovers). I don't know how you people can sit in here in front of that television when it is so lovely outside."
I head out to my patio. Dinner plate in hand.
The next thing I know, Son #1 is standing before me announcing that he and Hubs are going to take down the 70 foot tall dead tree that looms just outside of my family room for the past 6 months freaking me out every time there is a gust of wind.
I say, "No. That is not happening."
Son #1 says, "Yes, it is. Dad is on his way out."
Now let me remind you all that Hubs has just had surgery a few weeks ago and is still in a boot and unable to withstand much exercise.
Son #3 exits the house and the parade of testosterone begins across the backyard to assess the tree situation.
I watch them all standing there staring at the tree in deep thought discussing their plans. Son #3 finally turns around and shouts to me -
"It's coming down, Mom. Tonight - right now!"
I respond, "No. It's not."
As I head inside, Son #1 yells, "Hey, nobody should be in the family room while we do this."
I can't tell if he is serious or not so I go into denial mode.
Suddenly, Son #1 is in the garage, fetching the maul and the chainsaw.
I walk back outside and yell out to my husband,
"You are not doing this."
He looks back at me and says nothing.
Son #1 and Son #3 stare at me.
So I did what any mother would do.
I came inside, marched upstairs, warned Son #2 who was laying in bed that his brother and his father were about to cut down the dead tree and that I didn't think it would make it to his bedroom if it crashed on the house and that I would be taking his sister and the dog and going for a long walk.
Then I did exactly that.
Daughter and I walked down the sidewalks. All the way to the bog. We let the beagle sniff and chase and pee where ever she needed. Then we sauntered home.
Upon our arrival - Daughter announced,
"Well, I still see the top of the tree."
I walked to my backyard to find my 17 year old son with the chainsaw stuck in the tree, swinging the maul at the trunk trying to take the tree down.
I look to see my husband and Son #3 standing nearly 40 feet away.
I am completely horrified.
I can see that this tree is going to fall. I just can't tell where it is going to fall or when.
I can't stand to see my son standing underneath of it.
The anger inside me is ready to explode.
Then I turned to Daughter and I said what any mother would say,
"If anything happens to my son, I am divorcing your father without thinking twice and I will never forgive him."
Her jaw drops open and she says,
"No you won't."
I snapped my fingers in her face and said,
"In a heartbeat..."
Daughter alarmed by my statement (yet apparently not alarmed by her brother standing beneath that tree swinging an axe) yells to Son #3 to tell him what I said.
Hubs continues to stand away and from his vantage point he gives constant instruction.
"Not from that side."
"Do NOT go to that side."
"Use the maul."
"Do NOT go to the other side."
I realize that I am standing there with my hands over my mouth in complete shock of what I am watching.
I watch Son #1 start sawing with the bow saw again.
I hear the crack.
I hear Hubs yell, "Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh!"
Then in what feels like slow motion, I watch Son #1 bolt across the yard like Flash Gordon himself towards me, all the while shouting, "I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die. Hear we go. This is it."
We all turn to watch the tree hang in mid air and slowly come down until another tree catches it in its fork.
Son #1 recounts what happened from his vantage point.
"All I know is I heard a crack and then I watch the look of shock and horror on Mom's face and I thought for sure I was about to die."
Immediately after the tree came down and everyone calmed down from the adrenaline rush, Daughter turns to my husband to tattle on me.
"Mom said she was going to divorce you if anything happened and she would never forgive you."
Hubs turns to look at me - "You said this?"
Standing in complete defiance I jut out my chin -
"You bet. It would have all been over, Buddy."
Then my children wanted to begin a banter of what if's.
"What if he wasn't hurt that badly?"
"What if Dad didn't want the divorce?"
"What if ....?"
All I can think is, HELLLLLOOOO People!! Did we forget what just went down here. How did my divorcing your father trump my son being killed by a falling tree?
So, we all returned inside. Everyone animatedly telling their story from their vantage point again.
There is a lull in the conversation.
I send Daughter to get her math books. Hubs and Son #1 get into the car to make a run to the store.
I watch Son #3 turn on the television.
I think that perhaps I'll never complain about them all laying around watching television again.
I can't take the alternative.