By Mir
July 31, 2008

It turns out that you can get a lot of laundry done on about three hours of sleep. Also, you can pay all of the bills, do a small amount of work, spend some time with your children, make a billion phone calls, and spend an inordinate amount of time just staring at your computer, trying to remember what in the world it was you were supposed to be doing.

Otto is now up in Boston with his mom and the rest of his family, and they are all waiting up there and we are all waiting down here, and I’m really not sure which one sucks more. In fact, I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that it all pretty much sucks, here or there, up or down; even Dr. Seuss could not find a way to make this anything other than what it is, which is just plain rotten.

Otto is—like most men, you know, the ones from Mars—a fixer. I tease him about it all the time. Never before in my life have I wanted so badly to just fix something that is so completely unfixable.

So Otto and I lay in bed last night, not sleeping, talking a little bit, dozing eventually, and finally snapping awake in a panic at 3:45 when the alarm went off. And then he was off, without me, as we’d agreed made sense for now, and as the garage door closed I felt like the worst wife in the world.

Chickadee’s bedroom is directly over the garage, and I guess the door woke her up. She came flying down the stairs, wide-eyed, wanting to give Otto a hug good-bye. He was already gone, of course, so we sat there in the dark, snuggled up in my desk chair, until I could convince her to go back to bed.

I stayed up another hour, then went back to bed and dozed until Monkey got up shortly thereafter.

So the laundry is done and the bills are paid and I spent an amusing few hours dealing with the title company that is supposedly handling the sale of my house in New England (remember that? STILL NOT SOLD! GOOD FUN THERE!), because it turns out that I am trusting them to process a major real estate transaction in spite of the fact that 1) they can’t seem to figure out what my name is, 2) they think my ex-husband doesn’t know how to spell his own name, and 3) they keep alternating between listing either HIM or ME as currently living in that house, even though neither of us have lived there for quite some time.

And really, it’s so completely confusing, I guess, how the BUYERS are the ones LIVING THERE (they’ve been renting for months), as is listed on every freaking form already submitted. This is antithetical to the world of paperwork these people live in, so instead they list me (I think it’s me, though my name seems to change with every iteration of the forms) as living there, and when I point out that I LIVE IN GEORGIA, then they correct my address and instead screw up my ex’s address. What we need, here, is a piece of paperwork that says “WHATSHERNAME AND THAT GUY HAVE AGREED TO GIVE THOSE PEOPLE THAT HOUSE FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW SUM OF MONEY, THANKS.”

(Fortunately in order to officially be bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars, the entire transaction requires my signing all of my legal power over to the one person on the planet who hates me the most. So THAT’S comforting.)

That burned up a good chunk of time, actually, and I finally went out and overnighted a packet of stuff to the title company and then came home and sent them an email that basically said “Hey, I sent you everything, here’s a tracking number, good luck with that.”

I also managed to spend some quality time on the phone with the stormwater utility people, trying to convince them that Otto really doesn’t owe them $8 in overdue fees on a house he hasn’t owned for over a year. Normally I would hold my ground on such a matter, but today I was all “Okay, then, I’m going to send you $8 and you are going to GO AWAY. Fabulous.”

The kids went to play with the neighbors for a while this afternoon and I did a little bit of work, too, though I have no idea if any of it was coherent.

During dinner, Otto called. Still no real news to be had, but the kids each got to talk to him, and Monkey did that weird thing he does every once in a while where he morphs into a little old man.

“Well how are YOU doing, Otto?” he asked. He listened to the response, and nodded sagely. “Yeah, I’m worried, too,” he agreed with a deep sigh. “But we just have to wait and see.”

After dinner I dished the kids up enormous dishes of sorbet and strawberries; probably not a decent substitute for attentive parenting, but desperate times call for extra dessert. I was letting them eat in the family room while we watched television (normally a once-a-week treat), and Chickadee put her bowl down and hopped up onto the couch next to where Otto usually sits.

“I am giving Otto a big hug!” she announced, putting her arms around Invisible Otto, where he would be sitting. “We are snuggling,” she continued, patting Invisible Otto’s back. “It’s helping!” she concluded, grinning at me.

She was right, it did help.

* * * * *

Thank you so much for the kind thoughts and prayers so many of you have shared the last few days. With very few exceptions, I felt and continue to feel buoyed in kind understanding and compassion. For those of you who are concerned that God can’t deal with my frustration, I suggest you not worry your pretty little heads about it—He and I will work it out. We always do.


  1. Jen

    ah, your kids, they are special in a very good way. Days like this you know you’re doing a good job with them, really. Still keeping all of you in our thoughts. Hoping you get good news soon!

  2. D

    Continued Good Thoughts going out to you and yours. Know the waiting period thing – having been thru it in June – and the helplessness feeling.

  3. Iba

    The first paragraph reminds me of my daily routine! I work from home with a 4 year old and a 1 year old. *wince*

  4. Ceramom

    Thinking of you… When I met one of my best friends, I was amazed at her ability to handle not one but two special needs children. She explained to me that God never put more on one persons plate than they could handle. Three years later, my had been healthy daughter turned outt o have a life threatening cardiac condition. I wish God did’t trust me so much either.

  5. Megan.

    Oh honey. We always want to fix it, and the people we love, the people we want to fix it for, they know that too. It’s as close to fixing it as we can get really – just that desperate, painful, loving desire to make it all better. As jen said above I know we’re all still thinking of you and of Otto and his family with as many wish-we-could-help-fix-it thoughts as we can muster.

  6. ChristieNY

    Glad to hear you are hanging in there… {{{hugs}}}

  7. Mandee

    My best friend shared a nugget with me last week that someone shared with her following a miscarriage: It’s OK to be mad at God. Go ahead and yell at him; he’s big enough to take it.

    So sorry about everything that is happening, but glad the kids could make you smile.

  8. Astrogirl426

    There’s probably nothing any of us can do to make you feel any better about what is truly a crappy situation, but if it helps to at least alleviate the loneliness, please know that we all are wishing the best for Otto’s family, and for all of you.

    Waiting sucks, but waiting alone is probably the only thing that’s worse. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone.

  9. Jamie AZ

    Continuing to think happy thoughts for you and your family, Mir. I hope the news tomorrow is better and the laundry can pile back up in your life because you’re busy living it (or sleeping!) rather than spending it in worry.

  10. AmyM

    God is pretty tough, I’m sure He can handle being yelled at and even *gasp* swear words!

  11. Karen

    Isn’t is strange, this Internet thingy? I’ve seen your picture, yet probably wouldn’t know you on the street. I’ve been reading your blog for a while. But, of course, you wouldn’t know me on the street either. And yet I thought about you and your family all day long, and checked your site one more time (This is me not letting your stats sag!) before I fell asleep, and was relieved to see a post.

    If I could do more for you, I would, but since I can’t, know that my thoughts remain with you and yours.

  12. Steff

    Kids are awesome and oh so sincere…may peace and strength fill the emptiness you are all feeling.

  13. Amy

    Am sending you & Otto many best wishes. I hope everything turns out well.

  14. Cheryl

    I’m still thinking of you and your family.

  15. Karen

    What wonderful children you have. I’m hoping for the best.

  16. Mike Golch

    Mir, you,Otto and all of the fami9ly are in my prayers and will remain so for as long as it takes.I hope thing improve soon. Hugs and God’s Love and Blessings-Mike G.said that!

  17. Sharkey

    Kids are good medicine. Thinking of you and your family.

  18. Krisco

    You’re such a good Catholic that way, Mir. Knowing you have a loving Father even when he knows you’re pissed at him.

    My thoughts have been with you, too, and I hope everthing turns out just fine for her and everyone.

  19. Tammy

    Love the invisible Otto Hug. Prayers for all of you.

  20. Warrior Knitter

    Love and Hugs and Prayers heading your way and his way and their way and her way and all at the same time.

  21. annette

    I’ve been checking in all day too. We leave tomorrow for vacation but you will continue to be in my prayers. I told my then boss years ago that I was mad at God due to the many miscarriages. He told me not to be mad at God. I responded read the Psalms. Really it is okay to be mad at God. Even Job expresses frustration over his situation(s). I think God
    knows we are mad even if we don’t say it, right? He is GOD after all!! As I have grown in my faith, I don’t think I really get mad at God. I realize that His plan is always best, though often it doesn’t feel like it. What loving father wouldn’t want the best for his child? I know the fundamental truth that He loves me deeply. Now, I just get my feelings hurt:), and I tell Him that too.

    Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all you who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    While I think this has been altered in translation(His yoke doesn’t seem easy but I guess it won’t kill ya. And His burden is exactly 1 oz less than my body weight) Anyway, that is not as poetic! Fact is, if you let Him share the burden, it is always much lighter. Look at all your cyber friends, being Christ to you and sharing the burden!

    Okay, I am done preaching…In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…AMEN!

  22. Shash

    Hang in there. Good thoughts and well wishes to you and Otto’s mother and family.

    This is definitely the time for extra dessert.


  23. Lisa B

    Ow sweetie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Otto and your families. It is amazing in this technical age that we are all just one big village. We each deal with similar things in life, no matter where we live or our circumstances. When my father was ill and passed away in 2006, I felt more love from stranger friends than I could ever have imagined. You used the term buoyed, here’s hoping for calm seas and safe harbor from the storm.
    Blessings, Lisa

  24. Claudious

    It sounds like you got a lot done on a little amount of sleep, it works for me too but then days later I realize that I paid the laundry too much to keep my electricity going and folded too many bills in my underwear drawer. Sounds like it worked better for you. Keep on keeping on :-D

  25. Anissa@Hope4Peyton

    Because my child has a critical illness, I have spent many days waffling between being angry at God, feeling blessed by God and feeling guilty because I don’t feel I’m blessed more than I’m angry. I’m pretty sure he gets that. Many prayers for you and yours.

  26. Brigitte

    No matter how tangled up and gnarly you are feeling, we know that your prettiness extends through to your very soul.

  27. mimbles

    I’m thinking of you all. Hug those gorgeous kids and hang in there.

  28. Ladybug Crossing

    Hugs to you my dear friend.
    Hope you get some good news today.

  29. elizabeth

    sounds like you couldn’t really fix anything there and you are getting one hell of a lot done here. so cut yourself some slack on the worst wife award. and switch from sorbet to dark chocolate.
    your kids are too much. love the old man monkey.

  30. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck

    Thinking of you and hoping it all gets better soon. I hope you get some good news today!

  31. Darcie

    I hope today brings some news that is hopeful. I can only imagine how frustrating and agonizing it is to wait in another state for news.

    Saying many prayers today for you all.

  32. tammy

    Are you stressing out the Lord? That is TERRIBLE. You know he doesn’t deal well with stress. ;o)

    It’s been a bad season for husbands with sick mothers in this town. Y’all are in my prayers. (What? I do, too, pray, why do you think there’s been so much thunder and lightning lately?)

  33. Teresa

    I am so very sure that God can deal with your frustrations. He has big shoulders and huge arms. You, your family and especially Otto’s mom are in my prayers!

  34. Angela

    Aw man, I love the last line of this post.

    And I like, “desperate times call for extra dessert too”. :)

    I sit in front of the computer wanting to say just the right thing, but there is no just the right thing. I really hope you all get some good news today.

  35. Burgh Baby

    Still thinking of you and hoping for the best.

  36. Kristin

    Oh Mir, I’m just catching up with this, but my thoughts are with your family! Snuggle those kids a little more, it’s good for the soul. :)

  37. Alison

    You and all the family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Keep snuggling and having dessert as necessary–“desperate times call for extra dessert” may be the greatest paraphrase I’ve ever heard. I think I’ll frame it!

    One more thing: my dad (a pastor, for what it’s worth) always says God is big enough to handle anything we bring to Him. It’s the sign of a healthy relationship that you can be angry with God and know that you’ll still work it out eventually.

  38. ben

    Thinking of you and your family.

  39. Lar

    I posted this comment on the last post as well; I want to make sure that it gets read. I’m sorry at how my last comment came across; I didn’t mean to seem unsupportive. Of course I hope that Otto’s mom gets better, and quickly.

    I get mad at God sometimes too. My 9-yr-old daughter has a chronic GI disease that gives her terrible pain, and I hate watching her suffer, and I often cry out to God asking why she has to go through this. I understand the frustration with wondering why the world is the way that it is, when God could wave his hand and just fix it.

    But it offended me deeply to read the Creator of the Universe described as an asshole. And two comments above mine, Michelle said, “This is why I don’t believe in God.”
    Reading that comment, I got angry that Mir was using this platform that God has blessed her with to give ammunition to those who believe God doesn’t exist or is irrelevant. I just wished that she had been more careful with her words.

    Again, I apologize for coming across as unsupportive. That was not my intent, and I do hope and pray that Otto’s mom will heal quickly, and that the family will take comfort in each other, and that God will give them the peace and strength to do whatever they need to do in the coming days.

  40. All Adither

    Extra dessert, good tv and compassionate children = Salve during a difficult time. Hoping for you and Otto and Otto’s family.

  41. Nic

    Oh Mir, what a heartache for you all. Please know that we love you and we’ll be hoping/wishing/praying/casting spells for good news. Much love.

  42. Beth

    Waiting really is the hardest thing — you want to do but you don’t know what you can do…

    My hugs and good thoughts and healing light are being sent to all of you. Although Otto’s mom gets more of the healing light, since it sounds like she needs it.

    BIIIIIG hugs go to everyone — especially you and the kids. never doubt that you’re a good wife and mom.

  43. Aimee

    Somehow, though we’ve never met in person, I don’t doubt that you can handle whatever comes at you. Still thinking of all of you…

  44. Terri

    Still praying for all of you. When my mom was sick this past year I relied on the Matthew verse cited above (11:28-30). It’s terrible to be an A-type “fixer” in these situations. But it helped inordinately to receive the support, love and prayers of not only my friends and family, but those of people I’d never even met. Take comfort in that, as well.
    Hugs to you all,

  45. Meri

    Prayers from up north, as well.

  46. Melisa

    Amen to that.

    Your kids are the greatest! (Just don’t tell mine I said so.)

    Sending hugs and good thoughts your way,

  47. Trisha

    Sorry you have to be apart during this waiting but . . . it will work out the way it is supposed to in the end. I know that sounds lame but . . .what else can I say?

  48. getsheila

    God can’t deal? So in times of crisis when you need God most, you are supposed to worry about hurting his feelings? If God has to deal with Pat Robertson on a daily basis, I am fairly certain he would enjoy a nice break to listen to…pretty much anyone else.

    Happy Love Thursday, Mir, even if it does not feel very lovey today.

  49. getsheila

    Er, yesterday. You know what I mean.

  50. BethR

    I have been thinking of all of you, in Georgia and in Massachusetts, and I’m sorry your love and comfort has to stretch over so many miles but it sounds like it’s doing the very best it can.

  51. jennielynn

    Prayers and good thoughts continue. It can sometimes be hard to walk the line between mother and wife. You’re a great wife and Otto is lucky to have you. Of course, you’re also lucky to have him. Funny how that works out.

  52. Zuska

    Hugs and I’ll continue to keep you, Otto, and Otto’s mom in my thoughts…

  53. Mom, Ink.

    Your kids are beyond description. Old Man Monkey and Pantomime Chickadee! That’s just what the doctor ordered. I’m praying for all of you.

  54. prophet

    many, many blessings to you and your family. I pray for extra special peace to you, during these especially trying times. and my ‘little head’ – pretty or not – ain’t worried atall about how God will deal with your frustrations – I think the harder case is the person who won’t ever admit that she is frustrated! [but instead does the pious martyr act. . . .]

    I think God appreciates your honesty; I know I do.

  55. Melanie

    Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking good thoughts in your family’s direction.

  56. Daisy

    Your Monkey and Chickie are such loving souls. I know they’re not perfect – who is? – but Mir, you’ve done right with them. Sending positive vibes your way and toward Boston, too ….

  57. Heidi

    Three hours of sleep = guaranteed lunacy for me + a tendency to want to toss my cookies. Wishing you all well.

  58. Rick Bucich

    I think Alison summed it up very well. All of our thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family.

  59. Tj

    That is the blessing of children. They always manage to say the right thing at just the right moment.

  60. Katie in MA

    Isn’t it amazing how our children, despite so often inspiring tears and guilt and frustration, can come up with the most beautiful and perfect moment, exactly when you need it most.

    You’re all in our hearts. We’ll buoy you up as long as you need. What are (crazy, Internet-) friends for, right?

  61. Vane

    I hadn’t been able to stop by til today, I’m so, so sorry about everything that you are going through.

    Life’s like that sometimes, likes to kick you when you’re down. But it sounds as though some of the strengh you need God is sending through your kids.

    Hugs to you all, I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  62. Flea

    Your Chickadee is a keeper. Otto and Monkey, too. I’ll be praying for you all, including your in-laws.

  63. Cele

    You know, you have special kids.

  64. BlapherMJ

    Mir – Just wanted you to know that you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers…. God is with you all.

  65. alala

    Delurking to say you’re all in my thoughts.

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