A bounty of bittersweet

There’s a part of me—rather a large part of me, actually—that wants to just walk away from the blog and leave the last post up forever as the latest and greatest thing I’ll ever have to say. Because there is simply no topping the generosity you’ve shown over the last week, and little better in recent memory for us than the giddy anticipation of taking Chickadee on an outing after so long apart.

Our Saturday afternoon adventure was 99% wonderful. We met up with a staff contact who ushered us around back to unload our donation bounty directly into a basement office, then came back around front to pick up Chickadee, who was literally bouncing in her excitement to see us. We ate good food, ran some errands, got ice cream. Good stuff. Things started to unravel a bit when it was time to say goodbye, but I guess that’s to be expected. Still, it’s hard.

Then we had a meeting at the high school this morning and I forgot that of course band camp is going on, and as Otto drove past all of those marching kids, that group where our Chickie belongs, healthy and whole and happy, he patted my knee and said, “You okay?” I never know how to answer that question, anymore.

Still, we had our meeting and this is not Chickie’s guidance counselor’s first rodeo, so I feel like we’re in good hands. Planning for normalcy when normalcy feels completely out of reach is weird, though, y’know?

Later, I ran over to UPS. And it would appear that you’re not quite done yet:

Today’s haul is “only” (ha!) a couple dozen boxes, but while I was tempted to sink into a bit of a wallow it was exactly what I needed to knock me back into gratitude. (The card addressed to “Mir Kamin, Head Lemonade Maker” was especially helpful in the best sort of giggle-worthy way. Thank you, Sheila!!) There’s still work to be done; there’s still donations to be sorted and delivered, there’s still work my girl needs to do and WILL do and normalcy is out there, somewhere. It’s not going to arrive in an Amazon box, but it’ll get here eventually.

I know I said it already, but it bears repeating: I cannot thank you all enough for not just the donations, but the support in all forms (good thoughts, comments, emails). I love that we made a tangible difference for the girls at the hospital, but I am also, selfishly, so grateful that we are not going through this alone. So thank you, again.

Lest I ever venture too far into my own head, I’m lucky to have my own pint-size pragmatist here to keep me grounded.

Conversation as Monkey surveyed the bounty prior to Saturday’s delivery:
Monkey: So, Mom, are you, like, going to be FAMOUS? Will everyone know this all got donated because of you?
Me: No. NO! Monkey, this isn’t the sort of thing you do because you want to be known, it’s something you do because it’s the right thing to do and there’s a need to be filled. And anyway, I didn’t do it, my readers did. I’m just the transport service.
Monkey: Oh I know, I mean, I know that’s not WHY. I was just wondering.
Me: The girls who get this stuff have no idea who we are, and that’s fine. Hopefully they’ll just know that people care about them.
Monkey: But I liked what you said about being the transport. Really, we’re just the fleas.
Me: The what?
Monkey: The fleas! Like, we’re not the ones who CREATED the disease, but we’re TRANSPORTING it!
Me: Did you… just liken my tampons for teenagers drive to fleas giving people diseases?
Monkey: Yep!
Me: That may just be the weirdest metaphor ever.
Monkey: Thank you!

So… yeah. It’s like that.


  1. Megan

    Woo hoo! Tampon Lemonade – now with PLAGUE (of SHEER AWESOMENESS).

    Love that Monkey!

  2. Lulu

    Yep, that’s y’all — conveying the disease of HOPE, one box of tampons at a time!


  3. Stimey

    Lemonade fleas. It makes perfect sense.

    I was wondering how your visit went. I’m so glad it was mostly good. :)

  4. Hally

    I love Monkey. He is awesome-sauce.

  5. el-e-e

    He is so awesome.

  6. Mandy

    I’ve been waiting with much anticipation for a follow up post. Glad it went well and that you aren’t walking away from the blog, Head Lemonade Maker!

  7. Emily

    I love Monkey! He’s great at making those unconnectable connections :).

    Stay strong Head Lemonade Maker, stay strong.

  8. Katie in MA

    Lemonade Fleas – now my new rock band name. Tell Monkey he’ll get a shout-out in the liner notes. :)

  9. Karen R

    Go Monkey! Things will get better, one tampon at a time.

  10. deva

    Tampon Fleas! Yay! (also possibly how I feel about them..)

  11. Jill W.

    Monkey is hilarious. : ) I am a little late to the party, but my package is on its way.

  12. Ellen

    If Monkey can make a positive plague metaphor, anything is possible!

  13. RuthWells

    A plague of AWESOME.

    Hugs to Monkey.

  14. Andrea

    I love that you guys included errands while Chickadee was with you.You are such a good mom to pepper the time together with everyday life stuff.

  15. Sheila

    I was going to go for Chief Tampon Officer, but upon reflection, Head Lemonade Maker just seems more cheery (and fitting). So glad I could contribute, and give you a smile at the same time. I’m proud to be part of the Lemonade Makers with you as our chief. Cheers!

  16. suburbancorrespondent

    There’s no way I could utter the word “tampon” in front of any of my boys without making them die a thousand deaths.

  17. Genevieve

    Plague of Awesome (from commenter RuthWells above) would also be an excellent band name. Just sayin’.

    I told my husband about this, and he took a deep breath, sighed with satisfaction and said, “She gets it. Better than a lot of [institutions].” Looking not just at the negative actions (stealing hygiene items), but at the reasons for them (lacking nice hygiene items) and how to help alleviate those reasons.

  18. EG

    Love it, Monkey!

  19. Alice

    I really like how excited he got about being akin to fleas. (Of course, I’ve got some of those plush disease microbe things that have been gifts from family, so perhaps my frame of reference is already a bit inclined towards the pestilential).

    And here’s to the good stuff being able to carry us through as we find wherever the new normal is, and to getting professionals who help that process along.

  20. Tracy B

    Fleas…. LOVE it! (In a weird sort of way) :)

  21. heather

    I heard one of the Olympic announcers say today that one of the horses competing there was “fit as a flea.” So maybe being flea-like has all kinds of positive aspects that we didn’t previously know about.

  22. elz

    You know who is full of awesome?- You, and Monkey, and dear Otto, and Chickie too.

  23. karen

    LOL.. you do know Monkey is brilliant, don’t you?…

  24. Navhelowife

    Love. Just Love.

  25. Beth R

    Thrilled that Saturday went so well – and that Monkey is still… well, Monkey :)

    Hugs and hope heading your way, as always!

  26. Daisy

    I love your young man. He has such a way with words.

  27. Pam

    Monkey is totally awesome!!!! Lets go Fleas!!!!!

  28. laura

    I can see all of us putting our virtual hands together in the circle….

  29. addy

    Heee heee heeee – FLEAS!! Ahhhh, so proud to be a band of fleas.
    Go Monkey!

  30. s

    Why do I keep envisioning a very interesting ‘what I did this summer” essay in Monkey’s future? “The flea -bitten tampon transport chronicles”…

  31. c

    I want to thank you for continuing to write this blog. It was my very first “read” and I have been happy to say that it remains my favorite. I appreciate the act of will it must take to sit down and write a post for this blog. Life is hard and your writing has given me hours of pleasure. I truly hope you get something back. Here’s to hope, c

  32. Anna

    Mir, can we do this yearly? Because, hey, there’s a lot of stuff there that will last a long time, but yearly! That’s a yearly reminder that there are so many in need, a yearly chance to remember to love and be loved. Please?

  33. birchsprite

    Never never never stop writing! You are an inspiration and a lovely lady. No matter what life throws at you all, you have a wonderful loving family that will get through this!

    And where else would we read about lemonade fleas!

  34. Kate in Michigan

    People who are able to see things from such different perspectives are those who solve the world’s problems and invent the un-inventable.

    Electric lights.
    Magic Erasers.
    Adjustable cup holders.
    Super accelerators
    calorie-free martinis (hoping!)

  35. brigitte

    I was wondering, will that P.O. box be open for a while longer?

  36. Karen

    Off topic, but one of your ads just told me that I should buy a food dehydrator. Hehe.

    Monkey is the best, and it’s so sweet that you and the kids at the hospital are getting a sort of Christmas in July. Hugs and kisses to you all.

  37. Marsupial Mama

    OMG!! That is *hilarious*!! The fleas carrying the disease, thanks so much for the early morning giggle!

  38. Nancy

    Monkey rocks!

    And I am so glad the visit with Chickie went well!

  39. Saskia

    Monkey is awesome.

  40. Cele

    you know he comes by his levity quite innocently.

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