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September 25, 2009

This morning is not turning out at all like I’d planned. I guess that’s not that unusual. I was awakened around 3:30 by AJ who was absolutely terrified of a nightmare he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me about. He doesn’t have nightmares terribly often, but when he does, he always wants me to come into his room and lie down with him for a while. But last night he was so scared that he didn’t want to go back. He crawled into our bed and thrashed around for a half an hour before getting up and heading back towards his room. He was back a couple of minutes later asking me to investigate a noise he’d heard but didn’t recognize. So I walked him back to his room and stayed there for a while. When I thought he’d fallen back to sleep, I tried to sneak out, but he sat bolt upright and asked me not to go. I talked him off the ledge, turned on his music box, and closed the door behind me. It was about 4:30 when I got back to bed. I was just dozing off when I heard an alarm. For some reason, somehow my alarm had been turned on and reset. I fumbled around and shut it off, but didn’t really get back to sleep.

AJ was up bright and early as if nothing had happened. I, on the other hand, was comatose and forgot to make his lunch until the very last minute. I’m still not sure if I remembered to give him a snack. Shortly after he left for school, I got a call from my brother. He was standing in line at of a 5-sided building in Washington waiting for travel documents. He’s heading to Baghdad tomorrow. For a month. He hates being the bearer of bad news, so he waited until the last minute to tell me. Baghdad. That was a game changer for my day. After I got off the phone with him, I called my mom and dad, who’ve known for a few days. They sound so very worried and my dad confessed he hadn’t been sleeping. “I found out you never stop being a parent.” Yeah, you definitely never stop being a parent when your kid is heading into a war zone. Baghdad. 30 days.

So I’m having trouble getting past that and moving on with my day, especially since so many things I’ve got to do seem so frivolous. I need to decide if I’m going to wear the low-cut dress or the frumpy dress to Julia’s wedding tomorrow. I need to figure out what I’m making for the appetizer party tonight and the memorial service tomorrow, buy the ingredients and cook them. I need to sweep up the piles of baseball field dirt littering my front hall, which is currently looking like a Depression-era dust bowl. I need to paint my toenails and write a thank-you note to my interviewer.

But I can’t stop thinking about Baghdad. And about my nieces who are losing their father for a month. And my sister-in-law who has to hate this, but will probably not talk about it. We are not a praying kind of family, for the most part. But I’m pretty sure there are going to be some prayers this time.

Bon voyage, J. Travel safely.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    September 25, 2009 10:42 am

    Oooh, all best wishes and protective magical bubbles for your brother.

  2. September 25, 2009 11:03 am

    Sucks when you can’t be in control of the world, doesn’t it? Himself has to go to the Kazakhstan offices for a few weeks sometime soon: not quite as nasty as where J. is going but certainly not the beach. Get yourself the latest stiff upper lip upgrade…or many bottles of Baily’s: whatever gets ya through it.

    (I’ll let you know which one I’ll be chosing when the time comes).

  3. crankygirl permalink
    September 25, 2009 12:04 pm

    Since Monday is one of those rare occasions when I go to a house of worship (not a bar), I’ll make sure to include him in my atheistic prayers.

  4. September 25, 2009 1:14 pm

    Definitely wear the low-cut dress. My thoughts are with you and your brother.

  5. September 25, 2009 1:50 pm

    1. dreamcatcher?
    2. take a nap
    3. low cut dress
    4. hugs to lil bro

  6. September 25, 2009 1:58 pm

    I second the magical bubble for your brother.

    Low cut dress. It’s my day! 😀 Yes, I should be doing other things, how did you know?

  7. September 25, 2009 2:17 pm

    Mr. Spy is voting for the low-cut dress too, but I don’t entirely trust his judgment in this particular area. It’s a halter so it’s also largely backless. Too much skin for a wedding? Too much skin for my comfort level? Too much skin for 42-year-old who isn’t doing nearly as much yoga now as she was when she bought it (for a rehearsal dinner, actually)? But I have to admit the bride’s vote does have some sway! Jill, I think a dreamcatcher is an excellent idea. He has one somewhere. I’ll have to look for it. And thanks for everyone’s good wishes for my brother. He’s been in bad places before and come home safely. But I have to say, probably not as bad as this.

  8. September 25, 2009 2:24 pm

    Maybe you should find a copy of Holidays in Hell (PJ O’Rourke) to read while your brother is there. Yes, it’s dated, but he did live to write the book.

    Low-cut, definitely. A wedding is part fertility ritual; no room for frumpiness in the under-70 crowd!

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