Friday, March 14, 2008

Scarred 4 Life

I have been planning to start a series for a while now called scarred for life. The idea came about because I often find myself summing up some of the incidents in my life with the expression, “I’m scarred for life.” Then one day, for some reason we were discussing family photos at my mom’s house and she said something about, “…the group picture we got once when Shellie refused to dress up” etc, etc, and it was this big traumatic hoopla, “remember?” Apparently every detail was seared into her memory, but all I thought was, “You mean I didn’t do that EVERY time we were going to get a family photo done?” I couldn’t conjure up that specific memory, even after her cues, to save my life. That was when I realized it. I may be facetious when I say I’m scarred for life. Some people have big, really big, really truly traumatic and terrible experiences that leave big ugly scars, but all moms have these little scars left over from the old battle wounds of motherhood. Wouldn’t it be cathartic, validating, and cleansing to share those moments that are seared on our consciousness forever? Everything is so much more amusing in hindsight too, isn’t it? So, here’s the first scar I’ll share.

Yeah, well, it’s really two. It’s called the ANNUAL ESPINOZA BASEMENT FLOODING TRADITION. (Tradition we plan on breaking this April, right, boys???) My eye is starting to twitch already and it’s only the middle of March.

Chapter 1 April, 2006

This chapter takes place right in the middle of a 1 ½ week period of time that shows this was really a scarring experience if I still remember it in the backdrop of when it occurred. For the background on the week this happened in, read the excerpt here from my old e-mail.

Here’s the incident
Papi went up to the hospital to stay with Carino that day because I had to take Gigio to his appointment, then I had to take Enigma to go buy some things for her concert. Later that evening I was on the phone with Papi in my office and the boys were jumping on the tramp. I hung up the phone and immediately stepped into a puddle. It was coming from under the freezer. I assumed the freezer had died and was leaking. I picked up all the important stuff that was piled on the floor and went to go get towels, but when I went to do that, I discovered and even bigger puddle on the other side of the wall in the family room. Then I heard what sounded like water outside and before I thought what could be happening, I opened the door to the backyard to investigate and a wave about 4" high came whooshing in. The Things had put the garden hose in the bottom of the stairwell leading to the basement and turned it on full blast. They had made quite a swimming pool since the drain was clogged with leaves and mud and wouldn't drain at all anyways. I quick shut the door (too late) and ran to turn off the water. Then I went around the house to unlock the gate on the other side so I could get back in the house without letting in more water. Right at that moment a neighbor came up to see how Carino was doing. Right on cue, she was so inspired. She had knocked on our door and was about to leave when she thought we might be out back. She hurried off and hustled up a huge wet vac and some more people to help. Luckily it's mostly tile down there, and Enigma's room was the only room spared completely which is where the carpet is. We had a lot to wash after because all the linens and extra blankets were stored in the closet under the stairs and they all got wet. As it was, with all the help, I was up till way late. I would have been toast without that. Gigio claims he had no idea the hose was on in the stairwell and he helped unclog the drain and play with the babies while we cleaned up.

Chapter 2 April, 2007

This is why I never want to talk on the phone. OK, this is just one of the reasons why. Here's the background to this incident:

I’m still alive. Sorta. Papi has been to Chile and back since last I wrote. You know, the first few days the house seems quiet, like a whole herd left. There is a big hole. Then you notice you have less stuff to do without taking care of the missing mate. Nobody telling you he needs his back scratched RIGHT NOW while you were already doing 3 things at once. No one is adding new tasks to your day. You can do things that annoy him and he won’t even know. You can watch a chick flick and nobody complains. You can leave the T.V. off all day or at least not put it on Spike TV. He- he: don’t tell him, but this is kind of fun! Then by the end of the first week, it seems like he’s been gone a month and you start getting misty eyed, but hey, life is busy, and no disasters occur so the second week just zips by without a hitch. I’m a toughie, I can handle this separation even if it is no longer fun. Then the third week happens. It is a bomb. Everyone is falling apart. Disasters all over, life gets overwhelming, you get sick, you get irritable. By the last day alone, you tell your husband he may not get himself killed on the way home under any circumstances because he will probably find you comatose or catatonic when he gets there and he needs to take over the family again. Every 5 minutes I tell him never to leave me.

Here's the deja vu incident itself:

The last straw was the Espinoza Annual Basement Flooding. Just like last year, the stairwell drain was clogged with rotten leaves. Just like last year, someone left the hose running in the stairwell. (Except this year he talks and told on himself proudly-Thing 1. He was “washing the window!” No matter that we have no windows on that side of the house.) Just like last year everything was under close to an inch of water except Enigma’s room was spared. Just like last year Papi was not here. Just like last year, I had just gotten off the phone with Papi. Just like last year, Enigma was at a ballroom rehearsal. Unlike last year, there were things lying literally all over the office floor and there was two weeks of clean laundry waiting to be put away in the family room. Unlike last year I discovered the problem on the opposite side of the door and of course didn't open it. Unlike last year, no one walked in on cue to help me. I guess I’m more wicked now. I had to call all over the place trying to get a wet vac (only to find out from Papi the next day that he's gotten one since last year. ARG!) Eventually I got help though from an army of neighbors and everything got dried up but then I had to redo all the laundry and everything that was in the drawers in the boys’ room because it was all musty. That set me back terribly. I was already on the edge of functioning, and now I was off the cliff. So what do you do when you hit rock bottom? Try not to think about it too hard and give up on your grandiose plans of getting back on top of things. The next day I heard a sprinkler spray water on the pavement and I freaked, I thought the hose was on again. Don’t worry though, I’m sure after years of therapy I will be back to normal again.

That's it. I'm still in therapy. Now it's your turn. The doctor is in! Tell me about one of your scars. If we have enough fun doing this, we could make it a regular event with linkies and everything.


The Cranes said...

So, how is anyone ever going to beat that? The closest I think I can get to that was the day after my husband lost his job (when he was out-of-state so I was doing the single-mom thing) and the garage door broke, I went to take the kids to school and the car wouldn't start, it started raining on me as I walked home from taking the kids to school. Then it turned into an absolute downpour for all day and I discovered that our roof was leaking, which is never a good thing, but especially not when you are trying to sell your house and you have no income. I sincerely hope you don't have another flood this April (or anytime).

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

You get annual flooding, I get an annual ant invansion. It has me very seriously scarred and ANNOYED because it's that time of year, again. Darn it!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Love this post of scarred for life.....

Anonymous said...

I bookmarked your blog a couple of months ago because you are a very visual writer with so much humor. I haven't been on here for a month or so and was going to clean up my bookmarks. After reading your last three posts I have to keep your blog marked because you just make me smile. Keep it up.
I'd really like to tell you a scarred for life story, but I read in Reader's Digest that if you want a good job you need to be careful what kind of things you blog under your name or it can get you fired or even not hired in the first place. Maybe I'll post anonymously . Hmmm
OK, so after a missionary come home who was really quite ill at the end of his mission, my daughter's wedding a week later (out of state), going back to college myself, working part-time nights at a hospital, a second reception (in state), and then have someone try to make my 12 year old daughter another Elizabeth Smart by attempting to abduct her out of her bedroom window, I had a melt down. I didn't sleep for 10 days after the attempted abduction and ended up in the ER with severe sleep deprivation. I didn't know what day it was, and was having all kinds of marvelous delusions. The docs didn't know quite what to do with me so they decided to admit me to the hospital and give me some meds to help me sleep. Only problem was that the first one they tried made me hyper, not tired. I was singing to the nurses, telling them how wonderful and beautiful they were. I was sure that the male nurse was part of the Illuminati (or Gadianton Robbers)and told him so. But it gets better.
When the nurse came in and said, "they are here to take you to your room" and I thought, "They are coming to take you away..haha, hehe, to the funny farm where life is..." You probably know the song.
So I grabbed my poor husband and said, "let's get out of here!" and took off running out of the ER. Well, the staff, knowing that I wasn't in my right mind, tried to stop me and grabbed me by the loosely tied on hospital gown. But I fooled them and slipped out of the gown and away from them for another minute or so.
So I got to wear leather restraints for the next few hours until they could actually give me another drug that would help me sleep.
It is mostly all a blur to me, but my poor husband, and the poor, poor hospital staff who saw me streaking. Talk about scarred for life.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. This is important. Don't try to run faster than you have strength, and make sure you get enough sleep! :)

Shellie said...

Thank you anonymous! That was great! Drugs will do weird things for you and after the almost abduction, I wouldn't have been able to sleep either! Oh, and for the record, I'd still hire you!

caramama said...

I hope you don't have another flood this year!

My only recent scarring is agreeing to let my husband go to Vegas for a weekend with the guys while I was still sufferring from PPD. We thought I was doing better and could handle it. But then the Pumpkin decides that she doesn't need her naps, and I had a melt down. It was just poor planning on our parts. We should have had a friend or family member stay with me to help me while he was gone.

But it didn't help that he was out there with the guys for a fun weekend, which he didn't even want to be doing. I was so mad he went even when he didn't want to go, because they expected him too. Grrrr. Now, if he had gone away for business, that would have been understandable.

Anyway, we all lived through it, and we are fine. I was just on a mental downward spiral just when I had been feeling better, and I'm scarred for life. Things are pretty good now, though.