Today I said goodbye to Jen, the woman whose job I'm taking over and who has spent the last two weeks training me in as much as she possibly could. The amount of Jen's responsibilities at my new company were somewhat immeasurable, so there was no way we could cover everything. But she hit upon all the important stuff, and everything else I'll pick up as I go along.
I'm going to miss Jen. I've come to really like her, and my office felt quiet and lonely when she left today. Next week she begins work for a different employer in the very same building I walked out of exactly one year ago this week. And fifteen years ago she worked for Ian's stepmother, Sally, at the same store Ian worked at for 12 years. It's a small, small world.
And phones only make it smaller, as I was reminded at 5:30 this morning.
I had just gone back to bed, after being up with Cee Cee who had the shits from being on some new NSAID for her knee that she blew out last week and needs to have operated. (!!!$!!!) The poor girl is hurtin', and all I could care about this morning was that she didn't shit all over the house, like she did in my bedroom. I took care of the dog, cleaned and disinfected my room, pushed a window wide open, and hoped the place would air out.
I crawled back into bed, buried myself in my flannel pjs under flannel sheets and a flannel duvet (it's a wonder the static electricity I generated didn't have a taser--like effect on me), and the phone rang. It was 5:30! Surely, something bad had happened to someone I love, somewhere. I launched out of bed, hit the floor and reached the kitchen in about four leaps. "Unknown Caller" read the caller ID. I ripped the phone off the cradle and answered.
"Yeah, hello!" hollered a drunk-sounding guy with an Australian accent. "Is Laurie there?"
Ah, Laurie. Dear sweet Laurie used to have my phone number. Apparently, Laurie knows everyone. In the world. And they call my house almost hourly.
"No, I'm sorry," I replied quietly, relieved no one was dead. "She's no longer at this number."
"Right, well, I'm trying to reach Laurie! It's [insert forgotten name here] from Australia, and I'm trying to get in touch with her."
The guy sounded housed. Truly. I don't know what time it was in Australia at that moment, but it was definitely half-past Miller Time for this guy.
"I'm sorry, but you have the wrong number. She's not at this number. I don't know her." I was still speaking politely and quietly, hoping the kids wouldn't wake up.
"Right. Do you know how I can find Laurie?"
"Nope. I'm sorry. It's 5AM here. And you have the wrong number." *Click* I hung up. I was all done.
I crawled back into bed, mumbling to my dehydrated and strung-out dog, "Honestly, Cee Cee. What was that all about...?" when suddenly Nolan flung open my bedroom door, ran over to my bed with a tiny teddy bear in one hand and cried, "My little soft brown puppy is lost! He's gone!" He was in an absolute panic.
Up again, I went into the kids' room and found the puppy tangled up in the blankets. The puppy, the bear, Nolan, me, and Nolan's stuffed elephant, known as Elephant Zam, all huddled under the covers. I was more than happy to sleep there, since the kids' room didn't smell like dog shit and Resolve carpet cleaner. Nor was it freezing with a window wide open in the middle of February.
But I couldn't sleep. Nolan's cute little self slowly drifted back to dreamland. Sean breathed smoothly in his bed, invisible beneath his covers. The neighbors wind chimes clanged softly, and slowly the light began to break for the day. I slipped out of Nolan's bed at 6:15 and crawled back into mine, and nodded off briefly before the kids climbed into my bed around 6:35.
Now? Yoga. Tea. Bed. And maybe a little more of the Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba, a book Craig gave me a long time ago. You can never re-read too much of a good thing--especially when your six-year-old is studying Tae Kwon Do, hell-bent on growing up to be a ninja, and beginning to understand that a true warrior only uses his skills in self-defense. More specifically, a real warrior will only use his skills to show his enemies the folly of their offense. Before bed tonight, after studying an intense book about military helicopters (full of cool pics--an awesome Valentine's gift to the boys from Ian), Sean said, "Fighting with guns is not cool. Fighting with swords is cool, but you should really just be able to fight with your body--but only if you have to...right?"
Kid, you're way ahead of most "grown-ups" in this world.
From the Art of Peace:
In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it.
Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay. Each moment is etched with nature's grand design--do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things.