Dr Sissy & BIL

This is my sister.

DRSISSYBIL

I talk about her a lot – It might be a twin thing, but I am fairly obsessed with her.When we were younger we argued and went through all of the silly crap that competitive halves of a single egg will go through, but the very day that I moved out of the house the summer before college we were like “oh hello, I miss you most – let’s talk on the phone for 800 hours a day and visit each other back-and-forth across the country and basically be attached at the hip from 100s of miles away, never leave me again, kthxbai.”

And then, she started bringing my future brother-in-law around. He is that handsome fella next to her in the pic up above. I was WICKED picky about who Sis went around with in those days, but BIL? BIL is the GOAT.  Like really – he is THE BEST brother-in-law. We fell right into all kinds of ridiculous family shenanigans that drove my sister crazy… like the summer that they came to stay with me during undergrad, and (future) BIL and I had a disagreement about what exactly a ho-ho was. So we spent the whole summer bringing home every snack cake we could find that was NOT a ho-ho to do “process of elimination research.”

Annnd there we would be when she woke up late in the morning (she worked the night shift at a popular coffee shop,) stuffing our faces with another “not a ho-ho” for 2nd breakfast as she got ready to go for a run. Or when he sat on the sofa drinking with me because we were both secretly afraid of what would happen on NYE Y2k. Or when I was newly DXed with M.S. and I went to visit them in med school and their a/c broke, and he went all over to find a new one. Or how he makes THE BEST dirty martinis… or if he hears me on the phone with sissy because I have had a bad day, I will get a text with Baymax giving someone a hug or something.

Because he is the best, just like Sissy is the best. I know a lot of good people. They are the goodest.

They are also doctors. Which I have ALWAYS been so proud of. Dr Sissy has known since SECOND GRADE that she wanted to be a doctor. And she is one. When I was in second grade I think I wanted to be a tree when I grew up or something.

But these two very good people have known their whole lives – and they have worked tirelessly in their profession.  So here we are – on National Doctors Day. On a day when the gravity and the gratitude of that are felt so deeply that words fail.Here is what I know.

I love these two people FIERCELY. I am proud of them and scared for them and grateful to them and I will do whatever I can to make sure the incredibly difficult job that they and their fellow healthcare workers have to do can be done as safely and successfully as possible. Because every one of those people have sisters and brothers and moms and dads and kiddos and friends and pets and WHOEVER who love them fiercely – and they are doing what they do because they take care of us for the people who love us too.

Dr. Sissy – you are the other half of my egg. I have known you since conception. You are my instant and always best friend.

And BIL – There are not enough ho-hos and dirty martinis and Baymax GIFs in the world to say how much you mean.

I love you both so much – thank you for all you are doing.

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Tomorrow you are 9

Hi Jr,

9 years ago around this time I was curling my pregnant self up on my favorite futon, Pillow Pet wedged under my bump, Potter zonked out at the other end wrapped around my feet, full of Pasquinis and ready for some sleep.

8 hours later we were off to the hospital to meet you, because your habit of waking mom up pre-dawn had to start somewhere.

I have a terrible/wonderful habit of taking a selfie of us after you doze off the night before your birthday. When you are quiet and still, and I can still see hints of the little face I first saw peering back at me back then.

Sorry, not sorry

Sorry, not sorry

 

 

I know this birthday isn’t what we thought it would be. I know it isn’t fair and everything is strange and sometimes scary right now and that it really sucks, buddy.

I hate it – believe me, I want the world and the sun and the moon for you… I want a million bajillion things for you and none of them look like this.

Here is my promise to you, now and always, my sweet silly strong amazing son: Whatever we face, I will work with you to make the best of it. Tomorrow for your birthday (don’t you worry, doodle, mom’s got some tricks up her sleeve,) and the day after that, and all of the days to come. Your dad and I, and your NeNe and Pop, and Gaga and Grandpa, and all the Aunts and Uncles and Cousins will always help you find the good in the world.

But then again, that is easy with you around – because you are an unending source of good – you find it and multiply it, wherever you go.

And I am so sorry you and all the other kiddos around the world are experiencing this, and that the normal we all live right now is so far removed from the world you knew just a few short weeks ago.

We will get back there, friend.

I am so proud of how you are hard you are trying and finding ways to adapt and still be funny and energetic and creative and loving; and I am proud of how you value others in the world and see yourself in the greater picture of our town, our state, our country, and our world. You have a big, brave, WONDERFUL heart. We are just the luckiest ever to have you as our son.

You are a beam of light, and where you go darkness runs to hide.

You illuminate all of the goodness in the world for me. Burn bright always Jr.

See you tomorrow (comically early as always, I am sure,) birthday boy.

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Today

Each day I am wearing a shirt that reminds me of someone I care about. Today is a SeaQuake Brewing shirt from my awesome coworker.

As I write this – I hear Jr in the basement, giggling at the FB Kids Messenger game he is playing with the neighbor kid from down the street.

Two weeks ago, FB Kids Messenger was not a thing that my kid needed access to in my opinion.

Two weeks was another damn lifetime. What did I know two weeks ago?

I have struggled already through massive highs and lows, and started posts for each of them – somehow never able to finish the thoughts. Which is fitting, really, because I can’t finish a single thought in my head anymore either. It is a constant swirling whirlpool of worries and responsibilities and checklists and hope and fear and disbelieve and realizing and over and over and on.

One day I am Super Mom – ready to Mom Up and handle the whole household through this time of crisis with a smile and understanding and a solution for every issue that arises.

The next I am despondent, concerned for my team at work, watchful and worried about my family here, and paralyzed with fear for Dr Sissy, Dr BIL, and all the other doctors, nurses, and others on the frontlines of this war.

Some days I go back and forth. A lot.

I am not a person I know. I am a stranger to myself, moment to moment – learning to be a person in this world.

So now I listen to my son on his video chat with the kiddo he would typically be riding scooters with out in front, and he is laughing.

And I am so effing grateful for that.

And that I guess, is today.

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Imposter

Let’s talk about Imposter Syndrome, shall we?

I say this knowing that, to be honest, even talking about Impostor Syndrome triggers feelings of Impostor Syndrome in every fiber of my being.

“Ugh Keri, you have to be important enough to not feel worthy enough of not feeling worthy and important, and you aren’t so just stop.”

So yeah.

It can be tough to combat that feeling of fakeness if you can’t understand that you are even in the place you would need to be in order to be faking something.

(Wait, What? Are we in a Friends episode Right now?)

they dont know that we know

But here we are. Here I am.  I have felt it SO much in all aspects of my life recently.  I feel it here, with my content and it makes me think “you are not a real-enough writer and people don’t care, so just stop embarrassing yourself.”   (Clearly this voice wins in stops and starts.)

It creeps into my family life — when it takes me 3 days to reach out to Jr’s school administration to voice concerns because “they  know what they are doing and you are just going to look like that dumbass mom who is up everyone’s butt about everything, Keri.”    It whispers in my ear every time I make a choice that is different than other parents, every time Jr says “all the other kids get to do ___________.”

When I make choices about my family finances or food or fun or ANYTHING, there is the quiet echo of “who made you boss? What do you know?”

Don’t even get me started about the professional life stuff –  eight years into the process of growing an amazing team , and a few months into a new promotion,  AND  hot off a review that included lots of amazing and constructive feedback from colleagues, there is still that voice that says “WHO are they talking about!? It can’t be you.  You can’t make these decisions, you can’t lead a team like they say, tomorrow you will surely show your entire shitty hand and it will all go to pot.”

 

Here’s the thing. Magical thinking is awesome in books and movies. But in 2020 I made it my goal to combat all kinds of untruths with facts.  With the knowledge that others already come to me and I DO these things every day. I make these decisions. I know what my kid needs. I built this team from one person (me) to a whole big-ass team.

And whatever I write, even in the times when someone isn’t paying me, makes me a writer.

They don’t know that I know that they know, but I know….

I got this.

 

 

 

 

 

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On Main Street

Current rental sitch….

When I was in my junior year, I got in an accident right out in front of the High School.

A driver decided to run a stop sign and drove into the passenger side of my car without so much as slowing down. I jumped out, adrenaline racing, screaming at her “Why didn’t you stop!? My friend’s little sister is right in my passenger seat! You could have hurt us!!!” (I distinctly remember saying “my friend’s little sister, even though she was only a year younger than us, also very much my friend as well.)

Her answer was that she saw the stop sign, but didn’t stop. K

There we were, right as all the traffic was coming out of the school, blocking one of the busiest intersections on Main street while I sent someone to call the police.

It took a bit, but here came the officer up the street from the police station to sort things out, and the other motorist’s face went from a look of determination to disappointment when I burst into tears, called the officer by name and sobbed into his hug “she hit me and Sara in my jeep, Bart!!”

So off she went to get her ticket, and off I went to start the process of dealing with filing a claim with her insurance, etc. With a LOT of help from my dad.

And so it was… 20-something years later, on Halloween evening, that was sitting at a stoplight on that same Main Street, in my jeep, waiting for a red light to change.

When suddenly, the motorist behind me decided it was time to go. And so he did. Into the back of the Keri-mobile at the still very much red light.

This time no one was in the car with me. This time when I jumped out there wasn’t any screaming – I just said “are you ok? Do you have your insurance info?” And dialed the police non-emergency number.

But it was not-at-all lost on me, the eerie feeling of déjà vu, as I stood there waiting next to my injured Jeep, in the intersection on Main, for a hometown police officer to arrive, thanking the people who stopped to make sure we were ok. Even car crashes in your hometown spark memories.

Information exchanged and reports complete, off I went to take Jr trick-or-treating before starting the claim process (I did refrain from calling my dad for an assist this time, although I had to stop myself a few times – insurance stuff sucks!)

All involved with both of those accidents were fortunate to walk away with damage to vehicles, and not the people inside them, and as so-very-often happens to me now, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratefulness at the sense of community that has lasted all of these years as my little town has grown (and grown, and GROWN.)

We bundled up and walked the neighborhood in the cold Colorado twilight of Halloween, and of course I got misty eyed watching my son with his friends, and laughing and shivering along with our neighbors.

We are so lucky to be here in this wonderful place with these wonderful people.

(So neighbors – go easy on the Colorado native driving the economy rental with Kansas plates, it’s all the insurance company would spring for!)

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