The Way Things Are






2005-03-18, 11:03 a.m.

I am at home today. It is Lil Guyís last weekday of spring break, and I am here with him and his friend, whom we shall call Lou.

LG spent the day with Lou yesterday, and I called Louís mom yesterday afternoon, my friend Linda, to check in and see what all was going on, were they tired of LG yet, etc. Linda did not sound well. In fact, she sounded like she was crying. I, being completely inappropriately obtrusive and nosey, managed to get the story out of her.

Louís older brother is 24, is engaged, and his fiancťe is due to give birth in July. Lou has been excited about the prospect of being an uncle, Linda and her husband are happy, and I believe a wedding for the two high school sweethearts was planned for the not-too-distant future.

But some prenatal testing has revealed the likelihood that this baby has Ed*ward$$yndr0me. I am disguising these words because I do not want this poor family to stumble across this site with me yattering about their heartache. Yíall go ahead and google it Ė itís bad. Way worse than Downs. Iíll wait while you do that. (whistling and looking at ceiling ensues)

Anyway, Linda had just gotten the word that bloodwork had confirmed that there was a high likelihood of this syndrome and she was very upset, her son and his fiancťe were freaking out, panicking, and they wanted her there with them immediately.

I swung into super-hero mode, and told her that I was on my way to get Lil Guy, that I was leaving a bottle of wine in her fridge (I had already purchased it. If you watch my child for me, Iíll get you a bottle of wine, too), and that if they wanted me to take Lou so that they would have one less child to deal with, Iíd be glad to.

So thatís how I ended up with Lil Guy and Lou, and am at home today. I canít stand to think of two 24-year-olds facing something this sad. I canít imagine my friend, looking forward to being a grandmother, instead facing a tragedy.

Just to reel your attention back to me and my sad plight, you donít want to be stuck at home with two spoiled 12-year-old boys. They are so bored, because thereís NOTHING to do around here. Nothing. They got so bored, they took the lawnmower across the street and mowed the neighborsí front yard. Folks who live in Houston and purchased the little house across the street as a weekend or summer house. They havenít been around in a while, the yard was a foot deep in weeds and grassÖand now it is presentable.

I am swinging between irritation at these two boys, who keep lurking about whispering with each other, and then presenting me with their next bright idea for staying occupied (ďMom, I want to sell my old PS2 and get a new oneÖtodayĒ) and worry and sadness about the condition and fate of the baby. I keep threatening them with ďIf yíall lurk around being bored, Iím going to take Lou home, Lil Guy will go out and help DW paint, and Iím going to the office.Ē But I really canít take Lou home, not yet. I donít know if his parents are home or if they are with Louís brother. I feel a little bit trapped by the circumstances, but I know that doing a good deed that you actually feel, that actually inconveniences you a bit, must count for something more than the favors you do that are just ďI was going this way anyway, yíall jump on.Ē

Maybe to keep these boys occupied, Iíll pull a Michael Jackson and entertain them with alcohol. I can understand him a bit now Ė all those preteen boys, hanging around being bored, MJ going batshit crazy. Here guys, just drink some freaking wine. Donít tell your parents, Ďk?

What would you do if the bloodwork and testing were conclusive, irrefutable? You are 5 months pregnant, the baby, which should have resulted in miscarriage, is going to surely be born with so many problems you canít even count them all, and you are young and unmarried. If the testing is inconclusive, thatís a whole nuther story. Aye. I canít get it out of my head. I hope Linda drank the whole bottle of wine last night.

Back to me. Being at home, I have this vague worry about stuff going on at work that I should be doing. Fixing. Fittin'. Running interference on. There are so many situations swirling about, threatening to congeal into disasters, big and small, and not being there while other people are working, making terrible decisions, issuing edicts, and being on hand to thwart disaster with my super-hero administrative paper-shuffling powers is unsettling. I am going to try to insert myself into several of these situations, just so I can muddy up the process and make sure nobody does anything too stupid without my participation.

Hopefully, something funny or intense or heartmeltingly touching will happen, and Iíll have more to report on than just sitting in the dining room, fielding work email, worrying about my friends, and enjoying a fresh, sunny spring day in South Texas.

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