Left Ear, Books Here

Jack’s ear is healing.

All it took was fourteen days of goop, drainage, pus, head-butting, shredding, kicking, throwing, window-breaking, wailing, screaming, drywall-smashing sadness. No big deal.

And the pediatrician who called and got us into the ENT at the children’s hospital the same day (Day 12), where six of us held Jack down while Dr. P. and his tiny vacuum on a stick suctioned out all of the goo. It was super fun. Pretty sure we scared all the young moms of tiny little typically-developing babies in the waiting room, which was like six feet from our exam room. Scaring screaming aside, it worked, and we are heading now toward real recovery.

Jack hasn’t tried to hurt anyone today and he hasn’t destroyed any property either (yet. Knock on wood). He is happily playing with his charging cable and enjoying this pleasant evening on the porch.

I’m starting to feel better, too. Jack’s window is repaired. Jeff has lined his bedroom walls with plywood to prevent more drywall destruction. His disposition is restored. I do not feel the desolation that stays with me when Jack is sick and miserable and there’s nothing I can do about it.

And I got all my midterm grades in, so brava, me.

There was the meltdown I had this morning when I couldn’t face my life for another day. Turns out I just needed a nap. I slept for two hours this afternoon. I went from desolate to bleary and calm in 120 unconscious minutes. I need to remember the value of a (long, uninterrupted climb-in-bed and turn on the electric blanket) nap when desolation is driving the bus.

In related news, I’m reading some stellar books, which gives me both periodic escape and an appreciation for humanity when I’m not currently feeling it myself.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant feels like somebody’s actual family history, told by a smart, relate-able woman of an immigrant family. I’m flying through this story of Addie Baum’s life as a Jewish girl coming of age in the early twentieth century. Anita Diamant tells stories the way they should be told. I love this book.

Tomorrow Will be Different by Maria Semple is possibly my favorite book I have yet consumed this year. She who wrote Where’d You Go, Bernadette, has written an even better, funnier, more charming, and delightfully crafted novel, in my opinion, of a sort of neurotic red-headed woman (like me!). It’s about Eleanor Flood of Seattle who resolves one day to wake up and live her life with greater purpose, which leads to wild things and loveliness and redemption. I don’t know if this book is actually terrific, or if I just think it is because it appeals to my weird sensibilities and chronic self-doubt. My favorite character was Timby. Please read and we can discuss.

I recently finished An Ember in the Ashes, an addictive YA fantasy which I devoured in roughly a day and a half. I gasped audibly when I spotted the sequel, A Torch Against the Night, on the Costco book table. This is what nerds do. The second wasn’t as good as the first, but I needed completion to the story. Sabaa Tahir wrote about a world which is kind of an intersection between The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones—essentially, brutal, harsh, and requiring people of great courage to survive it. The villains are extremely bad and the heroes are highly moral, which isn’t anything new, but which makes for a good read.

My darling Chris loaned me a book about a suicidal woman’s account of visiting her premortal state and talking face to face with God. A Glimpse of Heaven is a bad title for a tale of a real life vision that spoke to me when I needed it. Joanne Oblander isn’t a natural writer, but she excels in spirituality, endurance, and resilience. I learned a great deal from this book and saw it as a hand reaching down to snatch me up during a period of deep desolation (there’s that word again, *sigh*).

I used to think of books as my form of simply checking out, but they teach me and replenish me, too. Enriching entertainment. Win win.


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