St. Josaphat of Polosk
It seems like it’s Let Us Panic time for just about everyone in my family right now. Some of this is school related (Rosie, AP), and mine is at least part medically induced, but for everyone it’s more inspired by the impending arrival of Big Brother, accompanied by his wife Sunny, daughter Honey, and toddler son who has no nickname because I haven’t met him yet. They are arriving Friday, will be with us for three weeks, and you know, I think even Papal Visitations don’t cause quite this much furor.
Please don’t get me wrong. We are all completely delighted, over the top thrilled, so very happy to have our brother and his family visiting. It has been far, far too long since we’ve seen them. It is an unparalleled joy to have them coming. We’re also really looking forward to seeing all the other family members that will be coming in from out of town to also visit with Big Brother and his family. Deeply, sincerely, happy. I mean it. We’re just also, well, a little stressed.
For example, this morning I got a phone call from Mariah, who will be hosting Big Brother and his family for most of their stay. Apparently she decided that she wanted to do a few paint touch ups before her guests arrived, which morphed (as home repair projects do) into redoing half the bathroom ceiling, and plaster repairs in the kitchen. Plus, Mariah has a deep horror of water bugs, so when she saw one in her bathroom a while back, she promptly put boric acid down on pretty much every available surface. This was fine while there were mostly only adults in her house. However, now she’s going to be hosting a toddler, so most of that needs to be cleaned back up again. It’s all getting to be a lot, so she’s calling around recruiting helpers.
At the same time, helpers are in short supply. Rosie and AP are both dealing with their end of the semester crunches, and Indy is doing her own panic cleaning frenzy over at the Family Homestead. I’m not sure what Boy-O is up to, but apparently it’s keeping him very busy too. AnniPotts is in the middle of the Teaching Year From Hell (more about that later), plus wedding planning, so she can’t do much. The Duchess is busy taking care of her toddler and the elderly lady she helps care for. Sae and Mr. T are busy getting their home ready (they’re hosting the epic Thanksgiving dinner for pretty much every one and their mother), plus Sae is dealing with being seven months pregnant with her own toddler and a part time job. So everyone’s been kinda occupied freaking out.
Myself, I’m dealing with the Zeno’s Paradox of home repairs. No matter how much my landlord gets done (and he really has gotten quite a bit done), it seems like there is always something more to do. It doesn’t take much to stress me out these days, but watching things stretch out longer and longer as I run out of time before my surgery has been giving me anxiety dreams. Plus, I think one of my general reactions to anxiety is to try to over-prepare. It’s as if having the house sparkling clean, a supply of homemade chicken broth in the freezer, a drawer full of warm flannel nightgowns ready to wear, just the right craft projects ready to be worked on, the right light reading and/or boxed sets of TV shows to watch, and a pretty, newly painted, warm bedroom will be some sort of magical equation that will add up to everything turning out alright. And, yes, I know it doesn’t work that way. But if obsessing about flannel nightgowns is going to help me keep my stuff together between now and December 2, then I guess I’m going to spend a lot of time thinking about flannel.
Anyway, it looks like my landlord might finally be finished with his repairs this afternoon, and maybe tomorrow we can start painting. Tonight I’m going to head over to Mariah’s to help her for a few hours. Before we know it, Big Brother and his family will be here, and all of these things we’re fretting ourselves to bits over will be just fine. This is kind of like the stage fright you always get before any big production. You just have to get through it, and then you can enjoy the show.
Just no broken legs, ok?