May 20, 2010...8:29 am

My week in bullet points:

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  • Monday, when I was feeling most content with our housing situation and was prepared to take our time and wait for the perfect apartment (no pressure), my husband sends me a link to a beautiful place that just went on the market the day before.  It’s a block away.
  • I say to Chris: If this is as good as it looks, we’ve got to snatch it up before anyone else takes it. He agrees.
  • Tuesday morning, after dropping August off at his first day of “school” ever, I walk to the apartment. Beautiful. So much more room than we have now. Counter space in the kitchen! It’s perfect.
  • I call Chris on the way to meet with my new spiritual director, Debby, who I’m excited to tell you more about. She’s going to be a wonderful joy in my life.  I say to Chris: This is the apartment. We should take it. He trusts me. Says: Let’s do it.
  • I call the real estate agent. We fill out our applications. Chris gets home early from work. All three of us head over there to turn them in and let Chris see the place.
  • It’s still perfect. But this time, I can see past the new kitchen and the big second bedroom. This time I actually think about how it’s on the third floor and the windows open sideways with a latch that August could manipulate and then fall three floors out of. I notice the back door to the fire escape has a steep landing with widely spaced rails that August could crawl through and (again) fall three stories from. And instead of gasping at the beauty of the building’s garden, all I can think about is the 3 foot deep pond that August can’t stop talking about: how easily he could drown in my one moment of distraction.
  • I tell my head that I can protect him. We’ll figure it out. Window locks. Gates. Mesh over the wide rails. Keep the door the fire escape locked. We turn in our applications and go home. I can’t stop visualizing August dying in every situation.
  • Chris and I get in bed. I start to say: I’m really worrying about the safety issue. And by the time that leaves my mouth I’m hysterical. Hysterical. I didn’t even know I was that worried. But I’m hyperventilating. And I can’t stop watching August drowning in my mind. Somewhere in front of me Chris is talking. He’s saying: It’s ok. Our little boy is fine. He’s asleep in his crib. You want to go look at him? Let’s go look at him. Our little boy is sleeping. He’s just fine. I start to believe him.
  • I’m not usually a worrier like this about August. I feel like I’m a pretty relaxed mom. So my panic attack frightens me a bit. After I start breathing again I think about what Debby said as we prayed together this morning. She instructed me to let the word God was speaking coat my mind. I think about all those crevices in my brain, how in all of them, there are fears and broken places. How much I need God to coat those areas, soak into the gaps.
  • Wednesday, all three of us wake up with bites all over our bodies. A mosquito nest in our house? Bed bugs? Gross. I wash the sheets.
  • Before I wash the sheets, August poops in the bathtub. I just look down and poop is swishing around him. Not cool. I pull him out, mentally stress about how to get the poop out (it’s disintegrating before my eyes). It reminds me of the golf balls and tires being used on the oil spill in the gulf.
  • While having this enlightened thought, and sometime after congratulating myself on my clear conversation with August about why it’s so important to tell mommy when you’re going to poop, especially when you don’t have a diaper on, I notice a change in his expression and then recognize a large pile of poop on the rug beneath him, and running down his legs.
  • Did I mention I’m leading the discussion at my mom’s group Bible study in thirty minutes and I’m bringing the snacks? We get there fifteen minutes late but we survive.
  • At 5:30 we head back to the apartment for an interview with the building’s owner and landlord. I’m feeling better about the situation but this time Chris is stressed. He tells me before we leave that he just doesn’t feel good about it. I say: Chris, it’s a perfect apartment. We can make it work. Even if that means we might be moving next week two days after Chris gets home from a five day trip and during our friend Ray’s visit.
  • We meet the owner. She seems to like us. She seems nice enough. Then she wants to know why I stay home. I mean, she says, are you at least thinking about looking for work in a year or so? I’m a little shocked. Ummmm. I say. I’m very content at home with August right now. That’s nice, she says. Well do you at least volunteer? Are you kidding me? I think. I proceed to tell her what I did on staff with Young Life and then hate myself for succumbing to that need to prove that I have worth because of my previous “work.” I shouldn’t have to explain my choice to be at home. Well, she says, I can get you in touch with so many volunteer organizations around here. I fake smile. Thanks.
  • The conversation heads downhill fast.  She’s very worried about August running in the house. How many carpets do we have? It will have to be completely covered. The tenants below are very nice men. She doesn’t want there to be a bad relationship between us and them. We try to convince her that we’ll do our best. I do add, August is a two year old, though! Fake smile again. She says, Well children can be trained, can’t they?
  • This kind of conversation continues for a while. When she tells us she’d like for us to move in, I’m a little shocked. I don’t know what to think. It’s a great place, I tell myself. But the safety concerns are still there. Then she laughs that she’s recently put an electric fence around the garden to keep the raccoons out. August should be ok if he touches it, she says. But then he’ll never do it again! Wow. I think, she thinks our son’s a dog.
  • When we leave, Chris and I look at each other. It’s a great place, I say. I don’t feel good about it, he says. I sigh. Me either. Our son shouldn’t be a problem that our landlord hopes to fix, beautiful apartment or not. Something else will come.
  • Chris gets August some dinner. I jump in the car and drive to the airport to pick up my dear friend and college roommate, Melissa, and her husband Matt. Tomorrow, I’ll be showing them the city. We drive to our house and the four of us eat pizza together at 9 pm.
  • Chris is leaving in the morning for London. We go to sleep. No panic attacks. Just peace.


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