Tuesday, May 20, 2008

There ain't too much sadder than the tears of a clown (when there's no one around)

KB's mom left this morning. Nolan and I drove her to the Newark airport and dropped her off, and she is even as I type winging her way across the country back to the Bay.

I am bereft. I suppose I should feel lucky that I get along so well with my mother-in-law, and I do, but right now I'm feeling sorry for myself at losing my wing man. She's like a combination mom/friend/sage/mentor/protector figure in my life, and it's been a great two weeks having her here. She has endless patience for Nolan and all his foibles, and is always willing to get him when he wakes up, or play with him when he wants to play, or just generally take the pressure off of me being the only adult at home all day.

She loves to cook, and we always eat well while she says with us. Plus she's so considerate - pretty much every morning during her visit she's unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher, and just this morning when she was making herself a turkey sandwich for the flight home, she made an extra one, wrapped it in Saran and stuck in the fridge for me to eat later.

She just knitted another sweater/hat combo for Nolan, this time in a pretty teal blue and gray pattern that he looks adorable in, so he's all set for this winter. Nolan got so used to having her here - the first thing he said when we got home from dropping her off was "Where's Grandmama?" as if he expected her to be waiting for us even after we just watched her walk into the airport an hour before. Sigh.

Plus, she's like the greatest gardening guru of all time. She's been instrumental in planning where to put things and deciding what plants to buy, so any success we have with our beans, peas, tomatos and herbs will be mostly to her credit. I wish I had taken a "before" photo of the garden (although the camera was dead) so you could see how much it has improved. I'm going to take some extensive photos of the house (one day, when it stops raining every day) and I'll get the garden in there so you can see how much we've done.

So I am sad.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I can see for miles and miles

Well, this has been a shitty weekend, both literally and figuratively.

On Thursday night, KB was told that the practice won't be offering him a partnership. In other words, he needs to find another job. The reasons are complicated, but a lot of it boils down to the practice putting their business interests before their employee (KB)'s interests. In some ways, it's a relief, as this possibility has been hanging over us since about mid-March, and now that the proverbial sword of Damocles has dropped, we at least know what the hell's going on. Hell being the key word there.

All of the things I though we had going for us here in Princeton - stability, permanence, a feeling of finally being "home," have turned out to be mere chimeras, like desert mirages that disappear as you get close. We stupidly, and mostly at my urging, just bought a house three months ago, because I was sure things would work out here, and now we may be in the position of having to sell the place six months after buying it. Not a smart idea even in a robust real estate market, much less in the kind of market the U.S. is in right now.

We don't know where we'll be going next - we have until December to find something else - and we don't necessarily have to pull up stakes and move across the country. The non-compete clause in KB's contract only specifies that he not work within a 10-mile radius of any of the current group's sites, so that means we could conceivably still live here while KB commutes to another position.

I'm trying to take the long view - some day we'll look back at this and go "Whew." KB was actually starting to get quite unhappy with his workload with this group - he was doing a lot of the modalities and specialties he's not as well trained in and doesn't like as much (mammo, nucs, ultrasound) and didn't get to do much of the ones he really likes and is well-trained in (musculoskeletal, body-imaging, cross-sectional), so I think he actually is a bit relieved. I can't really blame the group, either (although I'm plenty angry with them) since they have to, as a business entity, put their business interests first. But it's still shitty.

AND speaking of shitty (nice blend, Fozzie, thank you, Fozzie!) I spent the entire weekend either in bed moaning or on the toilet moaning with some intestinal virus I mysteriously contracted while no one else in the family has (thank god for small favors). I'm not sure if it was a psychosomatic reaction to the news (not really likely, but the timing seemed more than coincidental) or what, but suffice to say, it was ugly. I just started feeling better yesterday (Mother's Day) and am almost back to normal today. Yecccch. Too much sharing, I know, but I just had to convey the complete well of blackness that we'd fallen into this last few days, and that was certainly a big part of it for me.


Thankfully, KB's mom is here staying with us for another week - she's been a godsend. She took Nolan all day Friday while I lay in bed sobbing and writhing. I can't imagine what it would have been like had she not been here. That's one of the good things about being married - you get to co-opt your spouse's family members as your own, and when you're sick, nothing helps like having a mom around.

And then, to complete the trifecta of crappiness (not literally) we had a wind-and-rain storm last night and one of the mostly dead trees ("I'm not dead yet!") in the back fell over on the house. At 3:12 a.m. Scared the crap out of me and KB, but nobody else woke up and no damage was done (except to the tree), so it could have been worse.

And so could all of this, really. This isn't the worst thing that could happen in our lives, not by a long shot, (I know one person in particular out there who knows about the worst thing happening, but that's her story, not mine, and I know she'll tell it, and tell it well, when she's good and goddamn ready) and we'll get through it and figure things out. And then there's that whole thing about being stronger at the broken places.* But it sure hurts while you're healing.

Thanks for reading.

*"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway.