The stress of a relocation lasts far beyond the initial move. Having done this a few times, I know it can easily take a year to get everyone adjusted and at least a solid nine months for stress to begin to dissipate. Unfortunately we’re not there yet. Relocation is not for the weak. Between falling trees, stanky wells and a job search moving at the pace of a molasses flow in Siberia, the last few weeks have been stressful here at casa de Turkish Delights. I try my best to remain Little Margie Sunshine but sometimes circumstances dull my shine. But as is usually the case, just when things get crappy, life hands out some of its best laughs.
I’d been dealing with some unrelenting stress for a little too long so I decided to reward myself with a day off last week. (Or at least a – post -mom duties, pre- bus stop “day” off.) I’d start with a pot of coffee, then break out the cookies I’d squirreled away into an undisclosed location and catch up on my beloved trashy spy drama, The Americans. I started watching this show 5 years ago but there are too many boobies and bullets in these tales of 80’s espionage so I’ve been limited to consuming my spy-tales on the rare occasion of no offspring present which is why I’m not even at the halfway point of the series.
Before I could even get the kids on the bus, my phone began blowing up with texts, photos and finally a call.
“Honey, can you come get me?” The Turk asked.
My husband left for work more than an hour prior so I had no idea what he was talking about. “What? Where are you?” I yelled into the phone over the roar of the school bus.
“My train is on fire. Look at pictures. I send pictures.”
I quickly scrolled over the photos I’d ignored, (not that I always ignore things he sends me but…) and I’ll be damned. There it was, my Turk standing in front of a flaming train. I didn’t know whether to be concerned or to crack up. He seemed unharmed so I went with my go-to and busted out laughing. “Where are you? You’re ok, right? How did this happen?” Though I was laughing, I could feel my day off slipping away. I reached out to pull the Russians back but…but…no.
“Everybody had to get off train and now we all stuck. There are no Ubers. There is another train behind that is stuck but it is not on fire. Only my train on fire. Can you pick me?”
I felt sorry for my Mediterranean husband, standing in the middle of nowhere, perhaps even in a cranberry bog, with nothing more than a winter coat and travel mug of coffee to keep him warm, but I also had to laugh at the situation. I mean, it’s not every day you are commuting and your train bursts into flames next to a Dunkin Donuts. “I’m on my way.”
I made it in just under twenty minutes and was soon a participant in a parade of spouses filing through a Dunkin Donuts parking lot, stopping just long enough to load a hostile commuter and their briefcases before departing. I took solace in the knowledge that all of these other spouses were also losing their beautifully planned days as well.
When the Turk got in the car he gave me the play by play and we proceeded to laugh all the way home because when life sets your train on fire, there’s not much you can do but laugh.
My restructured day involved five million errands, six million loads of laundry, the news that I needed a root canal and not a single Russian spy. By day’s end I was ready for a restful sleep but my children felt differently. Not long into the night, Nugget appeared by my bedside.
“Mom. Mom. Mom.”
“I had a bad dream.” He finished his statement while hurdling himself across my body, “I need to sleep in here.”
Too tired to fight, I snuggled up with my 5 year-old and went back to sleep.
An hour later, I received another notification.
“Mom. Mom. Mom.”
This time it was Number 1 Son at my bedside. “What?”
“Something’s wrong. I think I peed in my bed.” He was traumatized. He hadn’t wet the bed in years.
“It’s ok. Sometimes when you’re really, really tired accidents happen.” I tried to reassure him.
“Not me. I don’t pee the bed.” Number 1 and I stripped the mattress and began the process of remaking his bed in the wee hours of the morning and after more reassurance, he finally gave up the fight and returned to bed.
The next morning Number 1 was still lamenting the previous night’s happenings. “I just don’t get it Mom. I never pee the bed. I’m old.” (Child, if 10 is old go get yourself a damn job.)
Before we could rehash everything in daylight, Nugget strutted down the stairs, curiously wearing different pajamas than I’d put him in the night before.
I knew that that meant. The kid has a history of shady behaviors in the night. “Did you just pee in my bed Nugget?”
Rubbing his eyes and stretching his arms over his bedhead, he casually replied, “Nah.”
“Well, why are you wearing different pajamas?” I asked.
“Because I peed in Teo’s bed last night. I couldn’t sleep in a wet bed so I changed my jammies and came to your bed.” Nugget was very nonchalant about his evil doings, as is usually the case. This is why we opted to turn his college fund into a bail fund a few years ago. It’s important to understand your investing.
It only took a second for Number 1 to make the connection. “Wait. So I didn’t pee my bed? You peed in my bed? Oh my God, I slept in your pee! Disgusting! You suck!”
While the stress is still high, the universe continues to send me comedic interludes to keep me somewhat sane and out of the Betty Ford Clinic for a little longer. Laugh it up because sometimes, it’s the only think keeping you balanced!