Sunday, April 15, 2007


In his last two visits to the doctor, Henry's received a total of twelve shots, which we call "pokes." I think this is where I should raise my hand and cringe. Guilty, I plead! We got a little behind on the immunizations during the moves from Provo to Oregon to Texas to another part of Texas. So while I was velcroing up his "Choo-choo Train Thomas shoes" Friday morning, telling him that we had to go to the doctor, Henry looked right in my eyes and said, in a very nasally morning voice, "I doht waht to take a poke." With my heart now in a schmaltzy puddle of adoration somewhere near the soles of my feet, I assured him that whatever happened, the doctor would make him feel better. But I couldn't deliver a no-poke guarantee because I had a sneaking suspicion that there might be pokes involved...and sure enough. Two pokes. Right in his meaty little thighs. He let out a few painful yelps, then lifted his leg to survey the damages, and in an instantaneous change of emotion that only Henry and premenstrual women are capable of, he exclaimed, "Hey look mom! Two stickers!" While I got his overalls back on, I kissed his face off and told him how brave and strong I thought he was. During the remainder of the day, he repeated random smidgens of the doctor's office epic to me. On the way home, "Hey mom, I got two pokes." Waiting for the prescription at the pharmacy, "I brave. I strohg." Eating lunch, "I got two pokes. I sad." Right before nap time, "Go at doctor. Fee better." When he woke up from his nap, "Wanna see-um bad-aids mom," he said, yanking on his pantleg. And at bath time, "Hey look mom! See-um two bad-aids. I so brave!"

I wasn't nearly so brave in the face of my little dose of adversity this week. Friday night brought warnings of severe weather to our neck of the woods. Just around the time I was expecting Nate to arrive home from work, lightning bolts started dancing around our house, playfully threatening to electrocute us at any moment. And the thunder roared so loudly it sounded like all of the cherubs had joined a celestial bowling league and were rolling their balls down the heavenly alleys in unison. Feeling kind of cutesy and playful around 4:30, I wrote Nate a silly e.mail, pretending to be Henry, telling him that we were ready for him to come home and to please come as soon as he could. I thought for sure he'd respond, but he didn't. I checked my e.mail several more times. Still, nothing. Even in the swampiest bowels of busy season I don't think Nate ever came home after 6:00 on a Friday afternoon; he usually gets home during the five o'clock hour. So I called his cell phone. It was off. I wrote another e.mail, (by this time it was probably approaching 6:30.) No response. And then I started to worry, Worry. I'm pretty good at that. I was imagining horrible scenarios -- that he'd been in a car wreck, that he got impaled on a fence post along Hwy 121, that he lay sizzled in the parking lot after a deadly lightning strike. There wasn't a possibility too sensational for my morbid imaginations. Then I started calling family members: Nate's mom's house, her cell phone, my mom, my dad, my sister. No one answered. At 7:15 I had no other option but to cry. I sat with Henry while he watched a few sugary episodes of the Little People. I bawled all the way through all of them. Henry was mightily confused--there's not a whiff of sadness about the Little People.

Finally at 7:45 the phone rang and it was Nate. "Where have you...? Are you...? You're alive!?!" Turns out he had a meeting downtown and couldn't drive home because of little inconveniences called GolfBallSizedHail! so he drank eight cokes (!) while he waited for the storm to pass at a bar downtown during Deloitte's Happy Hour, which for Nate, turned out to be a not-so-happy three hours. His cell phone was in the trunk of his friend's car and it didn't occur to him that I might be a little bit worried, (or sobbing my head off, coming to terms with life as a twenty four year old widow,) and didn't bother to call. I know. It sounds like a pretty juicy cover up for a little after-hours philandering, and if it were someone other than Nate I might have my eyebrows raised. But since he has never given me a trace of a reason for doubt, I took his story hook, line, and sinker. And when he walked through the door at half past eight, I kissed his face off.

When you start entertaining thoughts of the possibility of life without your sweetheart it's a curious phenomena how any of the little peevish things they've done or the charming things they haven't, just sort of evaporate. If you would have asked me in any one of those tearfully uncertain forty five minutes, I would have told you without a moment's hesitation that I would hand over every cent of our savings, every asset in our name, even my new IKEA pillow (which I am unduly fond of,) to be able to see the reflection of my wrinkly face in Nate's eyes fifty years from now.

We've been nauseatingly affectionate all weekend. Henry's totally sick of us. Nate even painted my toenails on Friday night while we watched The Pursuit of Happyness. I recommend both--the movie and the pampering.

And we managed to slip out for a date on Saturday night--a fancy one! We dressed up and went to the Capital Grille, which is a classy steak house downtown.

Truth be told, the meal was free. Thanks be to the dippy waitress who served Nate the last time he dined there on a business lunch. In response to his letter of complaint about the sub-par service, which resulted in his having to nuke a $40 steak, we got a customer-win-back gift certificate for a handsome sum that comfortably covered the meal and dessert! Only regrets: choosing the key lime pie for dessert. Note to self: you can never go wrong with chocolate.

Well, there's certainly no need to debate the fact that I am a windbag. Here's the photo nutshell:

Making cookies with mom

Now that he can crawl out of his crib he rarely sleeps in it...

And sometimes he doesn't sleep at all. How could one be expected to sleep when the temptation of an antler headband sits in your toy basket?

But when he surrenders, he sleeps like an angel.

Our love and prayers go out to all of our loved ones who are grieving for Grandpa Jackson at this time. We hope there is more celebration of his wonderful life and wholesome character than despair at his passing.

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