I texted my sister and got no response.
The next afternoon, “Sorry. Just saw this. I couldn’t find my phone and it died while it was lost.”
My immediate thought was “Wow. Must be nice. I wonder if she has any idea the Luxury of being able to misplace your phone?”
I said nothing of it. We continued our conversation. I was bitter. If I’m honest.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of Luxury lately. What it means in the general sense of yachts and fancy cars and Robin Leach and such. But also, and mostly, what it means to a parent to a special needs/medically fragile child. The things the average family takes for granted. The things the average family doesn’t even realize they take for granted. Simple things. Big things. Obvious things. Itty bitty little things that add up day after day, year after year, into one great big Life.
My daughter’s seizure disorder means that my phone is glued to me. At all times. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.
When she is not with me, it is in my back pocket, on the kitchen counter, within arm’s reach. I cannot misplace my phone. I cannot let it vibrate in my purse hanging in the closet. I must be available in case of emergency.
I cannot fathom the Luxury of having a phone for convenience.
My phone rings. It’s the school’s number. I answer. “Hi, this is Susie Smith, the school nurse at Such and Such Elementary…” Before she can get to the end of her sentence, I’ve grabbed my keys, slipped on mismatched flip flops, scooped up baby brothers and am halfway out the door, heart pounding, hands shaking.
“…I just wanted to follow up on our last meeting.”
A huge sigh. My shoulders crumple. Tears sting. My hands are still shaking. Harder now. Adrenaline.
Now the school calls, and before so much as a hello, they say “Jill is fine.” And then we talk.
And I wonder what it would be like to have the Luxury of not feeling your stomach drop every time your phone rings.
But then a small voice says “But you have a phone. That’s a Luxury. And a car. And keys. And a house. And a baby to scoop up. And ALL THE THINGS. Luxury.”
The truth is, I live a pretty charmed life. I have an awesome husband who loves us and provides for us (he also happens to be easy on the eyes, but that’s neither here nor there) and loves me in spite of my hair brained antics and stubborn sass, a silly gaggle of littles, an extended family who supports us fully, a nice house, and, and, and.
I’d want my life if I wasn’t me. Truth.
But still there are Hard Things. Things I grieve. Mourn in lost expectations. Things that Will Never Be. Or at least not without a ridiculous amount of planning and worry. I share these things not to make a typical family feel guilty. Nor do I share to garner sympathy.