Daisy and I went to see him on Friday. He’s so huge I can barely get a grip on all that giagantic-ness. I’m guessing he’s over 16hh. He’s still the same sweet, easy going boy that plopped out on Day One.
Hudson got a cell phone for his birthday. After our Colic Camping episode, I wanted him to be able to get ahold of me immediately. This is how parents end up giving iPhones to a kindergartener, isn’t it?
He hasn’t come to terms with the fact he already HAS his present.
Part One: in which I have a birthday near the end of October, and get many appropriate presents, and one randomly inappropriate present that everyone else wants…really really badly.
My birthday started well.
The two candles: my mom didn’t have a fire extinguisher handy to deal with the potential blow back of my real age. (Or my mom likes to remind me I’m really only two, and could grow up?)
Shaun gave me pajamas. With ZEBRA socks. Pink, fuzzy, happy, zebra socks.
And…the birthday gift that keeps on giving. Hudson. Thank you Shaun, Micah, and Lee Lee!
Bella, Daisy, and Alice got together and made me cry. On purpose. And I liked it.
My favorite things in the world. Frosting, Family, Friends, Familiars*.
Being loved is the best gift of all.
*Familiars: couldn’t think of a positive word for equines that started with an F. The only thing that came to mind rhymed with “trucking”. Hudson developed a terrible case of mud-less scratches that need a lot of staring, poking, soaking, drying, patting and rubbing of 6 different creams in a weekly rotation. Horses. I’m avoiding the word…”truck”.
My body decided to jump into the gift giving Fray. (Hey look, I’m on an F roll.)
Ta Da! Below is how Jane’s body sings “Happy Birthday to youuuuu.”
I couldn’t seem to make myself worry. Who the heck has ever heard of Elbow Cancer? Shaun Googled the crap out of it, and tried not to look totally freaked out in front of me. I pretended not to notice the stealthy Googling and I Am Not Freaked Out – No Really, look on her face.
Luckily, I didn’t have to pretend not to care about the lump.
It’s just a lump. I can live with a lump. Heck, Hudson lives with a lump.
Fine. Fine. I promised Shaun I’d go to the doctor. Then I promised the trainer, who poked the lump, said “I think it’s bigger than last week…?”. Then I promised Daisy, Bella, Carlos, and Alice I’d go to the doctor. Promising to take care of it bought me a lot of time to ignore it completely.
Denial. My favorite method of self-care.
Doctor said, “Huh”, looked me in the eyes, then back down at my arm, “only you.” She pushed on the lump. “Does it hurt?”
Oh goody, I can rack up another bullet point in Jane’s “Let’s Not Slice Our Body Open” PowerPoint presentation:
“Nope. Doesn’t hurt at all”, I say, “It’s fine”.
Doctor looks at me. “Lumps of unknown origin are NOT fine, Jane. Probably a cyst from synovial fluid. You sure you didn’t bump your elbow?” Pause. “Hard?”
Denial is so….passive. Suddenly remembering a blow hard enough to cause a lump the size of a golf ball is not passive. I’d be actively lying. Even if I substitute the harsher word “lie” for the innocuous sounding word “prevaricate”. Hmm…could I work with actively prevaricating…?
Maybe my mom was right: two birthday candles sort of sum up my emotional age. Don’t look at it, don’t touch it! It’s not THERE! It’s nothing!
Damn. Have to get it checked out.
I didn’t bother to take Shaun with me for the ultrasound. They’re not allowed to tell you results. The plan: I’d go, stay happily in denial, and pick up a latte on my way home.
Um. Yeah. About that. How many of us can read the ultrasound while our vet is still running the wand over our horse? Right. I knew instantly it wasn’t fluid. Solid tissue. I watched her do density scans.
The tech nervously leaves to: “check with the doctor that the films are clear and shot from the correct angles and stuff.” Even I know that’s technician-speak for: “Uh Oh. Must find DOCTOR.”
Denial is great. I shrug. Decide my body couldn’t handle all the frosting I was ingesting (whoops…my bad) so it helpfully created a nice frosting lump behind my elbow, where it wouldn’t be noticeable.
Heyyyyyy…It’s a buttercream tumor! On my funny bone! I can’t wait to tell everyone: it will be a piece of cake to remove. It has to go, because it’s on my Last Nerve! HA HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha ha ha….um…niggle niggle…ha?
I go back to my detective novel.
Dr. Radiologist comes in. “Can I…see…it?”, she asks tentatively, sounding nothing like the professional doctor she obviously is.
Oddly, she has the voice of a woman in Tiffany’s asking the saleslady if she could just look at a gazillion carat diamond ring.
“Uh. Sure”, I say, and poke my elbow into the air.
“Can I…touch it…?” she asks, in – I swear – the reverent voice of a woman asking to TRY THE RING ON.
“Sure?”, I say. She’s not going to try to take it, um, out of the box, is she?
I hear excited whispering outside the exam room door. “No it’s in there. Just wait. Maybe we can see it!! Shhhhhh!!! Did anyone tell Meghan…?”
My unusual lump started an epic odyssey of specialist surgeon visits, MRI’s, blood tests, and immediate surgery scheduling. Not a fatty tumor. Apparently a tumor so rare, most specialists never see it in their life time.
I don’t do immediate. I’m not good with ch*nge. I tried hard not to panic when the first surgeon said, “Let’s see, today is Friday…Sue call St. Mary’s and see if we can book an OR for Monday.”
MONDAY? As in Saturday, Sunday, MONDAY??? This whole time I’d been thinking…January…was doable.
I needn’t have stressed over immediate. The medical community was jazzed. I felt like I was…correction…I felt like my tumor was about to hit the talk show circuit, and possibly end up with its own Mercedes. I waited in endless green rooms, doing coffee shots and waiting for the signal it was time to thrust my elbow in the air in front of an all white-coated crowd. Wait for the collective gasp. Oooohing and Ahhhing. If I could have sent my elbow to the appointments without me, I would have. It started begging me for celebrity sunglasses, hip-hop style.
I was lucky. The best nerve trauma surgeon in the country (referred to in medical circles simply as: The God) swept in and said to the other bickering neurosurgeons, “Neener neener, sorry about your luck underlings, it’s MINE.”
I raised my hand. “Yes?”, he said.
“Uh. Can I come too?”, I said.
I was feeling a little unclear on the concept: does the famous tumor go in, and the (thankfully) unimportant mother of the tumor wait outside?
“Sure”, he said, and smiled a killer Hollywood surgeon-smile, complete with tooth twinkle.
Tooth twinkles: a sure sign that things are not what they seem.
…to be continued.
(Spoiler alert: I’m fine. We don’t need to worry.)
There’s a reason I mess with Jane. Via messing with Phil, who, face it, is über FUN to mess with. I mean, c’mon. If you were stuck hanging out with a Phil, could you resist turning your head casually, and saying a bored: “Booga booga”?
Or “I think there’s a skunk in the bottom of your hay…”?
Of course I’m scaring him when Jane isn’t around. Frankly, setting him off over nothing is just too much fun to resist.
My latest episode of admittedly over-the-top phreaking out of Phil was precipitated by little pointy party hats. Complete with chin elastic.
I had a birthday.
The one day of the year I get to look completely stupid. I’m the handsome horse on the left. The messy human staring into the sun (she’s not very bright) is Jane. The gorgeous babe rocking the stupid pointy hat (Chicks can do this. I don’t get it either.) is Ginger, with her tidy and photogenic human, Laurie.
Please take notes, Jane. A little make-up goes a long way. Tidy up, please.
Thank you for listening. Can any of you help Jane develop some horse savvy? For instance: We Do Not Put Party Hats On Horses Who Are Not Phil.
p.s. There’s one more letter, for Jane.
Ginger and I have proven to be excellent sports. Please destroy the Winnie-the-Pooh hats.
I’m enjoying the daily warming massage therapy on my knee, which frankly, I don’t think looks all that bad? Why all the fuss? It doesn’t hurt. At all. If it did, I would have torn you to shreds already. And the Not-Galloping is making me grumpy, FYI. This is not good for your future.
The ice water massage boot is interesting. For about three seconds. You thought I was yawning for 20 minutes because it felt good? I was bored OUT OF MY MIND. (But please, no singing.) You could fill those 20 minutes by peeling me some baby carrots, emperor style.
I need to know. Does ultra-sound treatment on that knee involve more Jane-Singing? I guarantee you that knee, should you sing, will explode. But not before I take a chunk out of your shoulder.
The real reason for my letter: I don’t understand this birthday obsession you humans have. I was pleasantly surprised that you considered what I, not you, would like for my birthday.
I do not want to be clean. Clean is bad. Thank you for letting me roll and roll and roll.
I do love a clean water trough. Nice of you to scrub it out.
Of course I love carrots. And food. Thank you for happily providing both.
You are not off the hook for the party hat photo. Please consider my recent flare-up of Phil Phreaking Out a warning shot across your bow. If you do not cease, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
(I can make him afraid of cookies. Do not tempt me.)
This is Daisy’s mare, (and my niece) Barbie, hopefully in order of age progression. She turned 8 years old on Sunday.
Barbie is Murphy’s mom, for those just joining us. She needed to be retired early, but shines on: she is a wonderful mother. This is a mare you’d want to have a foal by. She was very strict with Murphy, saving humans a lot of work, which is probably partly why his manners have remained decent into the terrible two’s.
She’s one of my favorite horses of all time. I just love this horse. Barbie is an eye magnet. You can’t help but want to watch her. (Stare, produce cookies, groom, hug, massage, dream….)
I try to stick with my friends, even when they do what seems ridiculous. I figure it’s a deposit in the Friendship Bank, since I’ll have my share of ridiculous.
A friend decided to go into psychotherapy. This was good-ish. Therapy was a great idea. We all have our weaknesses, glitches, and places we’d like to deep-six, never to be seen by others. In my completely non-judgmental and supportive opinion, Louise would benefit enormously by growing up.
(Remember the stuff we might want to deep six? That’s mine, right there.)
I try to look supportive. I am dismayed as she describes her pending Regression Therapy. I’m thinking therapists should get to choose our therapy…an extreme concept, but perhaps a slightly more useful one? I know I’m blind as a bat to my own glaring flaws.
Exiting the womb was enough for me the first time around. The idea of stuffing myself back in as an adult (sorry mom) so I could come out again, only in a nicer, more incense and chanting, Goddess-y sort of way, was not appealing. But hey, I’m being a judgmental jerk, so I may as well own that, and own, while I’m at it, that I don’t know everything.
(I knew you’d be shocked by that one.)
I hoped my Not-Onboard-ness didn’t show. I’d heard about this form of therapy, and knew parts of it were a group process. I prayed she would not ask me to be there for the labor and birth. I was SO going to be busy that day.
Sooner or later I would have to cave and show up. I needed to pick a therapeutic event I could tolerate without unconscious eye-rolling. I did not want to risk devastating her delicate, reborn psyche.
The phone rings. “I’m eight now!”, Louise says in an excited, happy voice, sounding just like an 8-year-old. “That’s wonderful!”, I say, with genuine sincerity. I can do eight. I repeat internally: do not judge, do not judge. She’s happy. What is my problem?
“I’m sorry, what?” I say, to cover up the fact that I (the higher evolved being) am totally self-absorbed.
“I’m having a birthday party! I’ll be ten by next Saturday! Will you come?”, she asks.
I can do a couple of hours of ten. Hey. Cake!
“Of course!”, I say. “I don’t have anything on Saturday.”
“Oh good. I was starting to worry you thought this was stupid”, Louise says, hitting my nail of shame on the head.
“It’s a camping party! Saturday, Lake Park, 9 a.m. Go-home time is Sunday at 4 o’clock. Bring presents, lots of presents! You know, age-specific ones.”
A two-day, overnight birthday party? I need damage control.
“I’ll be there”, I say, forgetting to ask the number of the campsite. “Is Saturday afternoon okay, or is that too late?”
“Oh it’s fine”, she squeals. “This is going to be the best birthday EV-er.”
A trained professional should definitely choose our therapy. I think a lot of problems could be avoided. Like gift shopping. And making paper mache placenta.
There came a day when I actually saw the owners of one of the quiet houses down the street. It’s a clean and tidy house, maintained nicely. We exchanged uncomfortable pleasantries, with a few non sequiturs thrown in.
That night, I took the kids aside. I said, “You know the green house on X street?” They both nod. “I want you to stay away from there, okay?”
Any birthday in which you have to get up at 3 am to go to work, and go to sleep at 7 pm, is not a good birthday. I wished her a happy birthday this morning, but really, how far can an email go?
I text her to distract us both:
Jane: I’m having a little steer anxiety about tonight? No one is going to expect me to know how to shoo one right?
Daisy: For Pete’s sake, you KNOW everyone who’ll be there.
Jane: What if I look stupid? Strike that. I will look stupid. I’ll be the only person wearing a helmet. On a horse that isn’t moving.
Daisy: No one cares!
Jane: What if I fall off?
Daisy: Get a grip. U R not going to fall off. H will take care of you.
Jane: He’s gonna be so excited to be around cows, he’s gonna toss the idiot english rider to get her out-of-the-way.
Daisy: He is NOT.
Jane: I know I know. It’s stupid.
Long pause. Daisy is letting it sink in, my declaration of how stupid I’m being. It’s true. Okay. I’ll get a grip. I’m done now. And strangely enough…I am. I’m not anxious anymore. It will be what it will be, and I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to learn a little about roping and take some baby steps in another direction. I mentally switch tracks to another subject:
Jane: Tell me when you get off the bus.
Looooong pause. While I’m waiting for a reply, it hits me that A) Daisy doesn’t know I’m over it, and B) she thinks I want to call her and repeat the above drama ad nauseum on the phone. Hi, Happy Birthday, let me torture you with my anxieties in text AND on the phone! I’m in the middle of writing her a follow-up text when hers comes in:
Daisy: Still on the bus. Have a lot of errands to run after.
This is polite code for: SHUT UP already. I laugh out loud.
Jane: Silly. I don’t want to torture you with more weirdness! I want to sing.
Daisy: I have another ten hours on the bus.
Jane: I can wait ten hours.
Ha. She doesn’t think I’ll sing to her. (Whohahaha) You want to join me?
Happy Birthday to you…
Happy birthday to youuuuuu…
Happy BIRTHday dear Daaaaaisy….
Happy Birthday tooooyouuuuu…!!!!
You have no idea how glad I am that you were born, and that you’re my friend. Happy, happy birthday!