For this year’s letter, I had contemplated cribbing bits and pieces from past letters to formulate an all-time Top 10. Instead, I decided to offer you:
The Top 10 Ways Your Family Will Support You When You Are Sick…
In no particular order,
(1) Let you take naps: Ha! I wish! Please keep in mind that I was always a proponent of “never wake a sleeping child.” ALWAYS! You would think a mother would get some good karma for that but you would be wrong. Naps have become a very dear friend to me. However, one of my children who shall not be named (AJ) doesn’t seem to understand this concept and seems to wake me up just as I’ve nodded off…every time…to ask me very important questions like, “Are you sleeping?”
(2) Chauffeur you everywhere: Dear God, the teenage boy can drive (albeit with permit in hand). If you’re not scared yet, you should be. Some days I am, especially when the rules about right-of-way seem to have escaped his memory. However, this fall it has been nice to have an eager chauffeur. Though that rule I made years ago about the driver picking the radio station is coming back to haunt me. BIG TIME! A mom should not have to be tortured by Eminem.
(3) Love the chance to be healthy with you: Tis the season of mandatory flu shots (doctor’s orders), hand washing, vitamins, and vats and vats of hand sanitizer. All I can say is that you’d have thought we were forcibly poisoning the kids by asking them to follow these guidelines. It’s not like I’m asking them to drink seaweed smoothies every morning. And I’m still trying to decide which of my family members was the biggest wimp in the flu shot line.
(4) Offer to shave their head when you go bald: Yeah, only my husband jumped on board this train, and this is probably because it wouldn’t be that much different than his current hairstyle. AJ thinks it’d be a good idea, but I won’t let her…because I don’t want to hear about it, every day, in detail, for the next 3 years. And I believe Alex’s exact words were “Hell, no.”
(5) Approve of your choice of head coverings: Yes, I will be bald (see above). And if I’m gonna wear a wig, I really want it to scream “wig.” In Vegas, I bought a BLUE wig (as in Katy Perry blue), and am currently looking for wigs in green, purple, and maybe even black. Some of my family (a certain teenage boy who shall not be named) is concerned that I’m not getting “normal” hair and how could they possibly be expected to be seen in public with Katy Perry all the time.
(6) Be at your beck and call: Sure…begrudgingly. When friends and neighbors brought over pumpkins after my second surgery (coinciding with Halloween) in a show of support, Alex’s first reaction was “Who has to clean those up?” On the same night, AJ took a 3.5 second break from trick-or-treating to say “Hi and I have 7 pounds of candy.” She didn’t ask how I was and I wasn’t allowed to hug her, because it might ruin her zombie vampire makeup. Some things are much more important, you know. (I do have to admit that everyone has actually redeemed themselves since chemo started and are taking very good care of me. And they let me play the “well, when you get sliced opened 3 times and purposely poisoned, then you can take naps, too” card).
(7) Clean their room when you ask them to: Hilarious! I’m not sure why I expected this to be any different than normal, but I really thought that some of these people could pull it together. Alex currently has 3 loads of clean and 1 load of dirty laundry on his bedroom floor…not sure how he tells which is which, because I sure can’t tell the difference. And there are probably no less than 372 empty pop cans stashed around the house because of him. And DO NOT get me started on the special snowflake we call AJ. Who is actually a hoarder in disguise. Who thinks her room on any given day is “cleanish,” begging the question as to what she thinks the definition of clean actually is since it obviously has nothing to do with seeing the floor of her bedroom.
(8) Want to spend time with you: Please don’t think that the Yuskos have become all lovey-dovey, hugging and holding hands all the time. That just wouldn’t be our style. But I kind of thought some of these people would willingly spend some time with their dear, sweet mom. Nope, no such luck. When we wanted to turn the latest 007 flick into “family movie day” (okay, sans young girl child who was off with grandma), you’d have thought we were torturing the teenager (okay, so maybe we were). And although he sat in the row behind us, he did acknowledge me via text several times (as we joked about the senior citizen: us ratio at the movie…189:3). Asking him to take me to Les Miserables on Christmas day though yielded a slightly less enthusiastic response. “You mean that French musical? I’d rather poke my eyes out with a rusty spoon.”
(9) Be nice to each other: Nope, sibling bickering alive and well in the Yusko household…glad to know that will never change. AJ is a master at pushing the buttons of the teenage boy. Her singing while he is driving is a special kind of torture that actually makes me laugh (and is good practice for dealing with distractions, so I’m a bad mom and rarely tell her to stop). Somehow, the song is never quite as cool after your 10 year old sister knows all the words. And Alex, for all his good big brother qualities, would never admit to such a role in public. When asked to take his sister to the Nutcracker (instead of taking his mom to the movies, see above), I think he decided French movies that break out into song might not be so bad.
(10) Regale you with stories: AJ is a master at describing her day to you IN DETAIL. Lots of details. Lots and lots…I’m sure that she has a minimum spoken word count she must reach each day, and this number is somewhere in the high 5-digits. Remember, this is the child that wakes you up to ask if you’re sleeping. But Alex is the master! And his burgeoning sarcastic wit makes his momma proud. (A sense of humor after my own heart). Typically these stories are told to stall for a later bedtime or to avoid brushing his teeth (a talent quickly being learned by the little sister). Some of my favorites this year were about the UFOs following him while walking the dog, how watching little girls’ volleyball games are worse than prison, and the man-eating spiders that attacked him while walking home from the bus. However, the ones about his friends’ driving exploits are ones he should learn to keep to himself. At least if he ever expects to leave the house with them.
In the spirit of our adopted Christmas locale, which I miss greatly on this cold, rainy night,
Mele Kalikimaka! And a healthy 2013 to everyone!
Shauna, Keith, Alex & AJ