So, as per usual, the holiday season has snuck up on me again.
This year, I told myself that I would somehow get ahead of the game. My husband was out of town this week, so I decided that I would make the fudge for the first of three family holiday gatherings. After all, both kids were home sick, so I had the time. Woot!
After I made the fudge, I needed to run a short errand before dinner. Because the news had said stuff like, “Expect hurricane force winds throughout the valley,” I decided to leave the dogs in the house. I was gone maybe 20 minutes. I can leave an entire turkey on the counter and the big dog won’t touch it, so I thought nothing of leaving things on the counter.
That’s the big man. He’s a good boy. Generally.
When we get back, both dogs were happy and everything was still standing, so the world was good. We sat down to eat dinner when boy child said, “Hey Mom, why is the fudge tray on the floor?”
Well, I thought something along those lines that might have involved some swearing. But it’s my head, so it’s okay.
Because here is the dog who actually will jump on the counter…
I called the vet, explained the situation, and the vet told me to watch them and come in if anything happened.
Within thirty seconds of the hanging up, the big dog threw up. On my couch. Then he went to the back door and threw up all over that.
So we went to the vet.
When the vet finally came to see my two very happy dogs, she didn’t believe me when I said they’d eaten chocolate. It wasn’t until the vet actually made the dogs vomit that she came back and said, “Well, the little one didn’t get into any chocolate. The big one… He should be dead with the amount of chocolate he ate. We’re going to give him some charcoal and send him home. Keep him close, and if he has seizures, take him to the Emergency Clinic. Oh, and he’ll have diarrhea.” Then she locked us in a room with the little one, who had such wretched gas it must have been God’s way of prepping me for my eternal atonement. The fires of hell have nothing on that dog.
Two hours and two hundred dollars later, the vet released us from our stinky prison. I took the dogs home and wondered how I would get a seizing 100 pound German Shepherd with diarrhea down my stairs and into the car if I had to. I decided the dogs would sleep in my bathroom, so I could be nearby if anything happened.
At one thirty in the morning, after nearly three hours of howling, I frankly didn’t care if he had a seizure and had diarrhea all over the stairs, I just needed him to be quiet so I could sleep. So that’s where he went, and he was quiet, and so I did actually sleep.
The next morning, the dog seemed fine, but everyone overslept. I hustled everyone out the door, and we got into the car. At the precise moment I put the car in reverse and started to back up, girl child realized she forgot her retainer on the table, and opened the car door. And I backed my brand new car into our trailer, broke the trailer’s back tail light and destroyed the door of my car.
I didn’t even have the chance to yell at her before she had an asthma attack (she was sick, after all). So instead of screeching at her, I had to talk her down as we drove to work. Thankfully, it’s less than five minutes away, and by the time we got there, she was less wheezy. So I turned around to tell her it would be okay, and…
The back of my car looked like a crime scene.
A crime scene. There was even a bloody hand print on the window. The kid had gotten a bloody nose, to boot. Yet she hadn’t thought to mention it to me, and Boy Child was so happy he wasn’t the one in trouble that he kept his mouth shut. Nice.
As I surveyed that damage, my husband texted me with, “My airplane out of Denver had an electrical problem as we were pulling out, so I’m delayed.” And as I texted my husband, boy child tripped on his jacket and dumped his entire lunch on my front seat. I’m not even sure how that happened.
At this point, I started to laugh, because, I mean, really.
I have everyone and everything that I could possibly need right here with me. Yes, I made mistakes, and it’s a good thing it all worked out, because it might not have. It probably shouldn’t have. The dog should have died, but he’s fine. The kids could have been sicker, but they weren’t. Sure, the door is broken on my car, and the trailer’s taillight is busted, but that can be fixed. And somehow, I didn’t lose my mind, either.
This run of bad luck has reminded me of what’s important. Family. Stuff is stuff, and I love stuff as much as the next girl, but stuff is replaceable. People aren’t. So overall, I think I came out ahead. That’s the important thing to remember, when life gets crazy and weird and stressful, when deadlines are approaching and you feel like you can’t handle even one more thing. It’s the people who make life great, and if you have them, you’re on a lucky streak. Everything else will work itself out.
Happy holidays, everyone.
Meggan Connors is the very harried author of The Marker, Highland Sons (with Dawn Ireland), and Highland Deception. The Devil of Dunmoor, the follow up to Highland Deception, is due out in 2015.
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