#reverb13 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2013 and project on hopes and dreams for 2014. Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb13. Let’s reverb.
Covet: What did you covet this year? Are you working towards getting that, or just admiring it from afar? Is it a tangible thing, or just an idea? Tell us about what you’ve got your sights on.
There were plenty of times this year I coveted what other people had. Someone’s house. Someone’s car. Someone’s income. Someone’s job. Someone’s skills. Someone’s looks.
I think it’s human and natural to feel envy and to feel jealous. It’s part of life, I think.
Today – Christmas Day – Kate woke up with a fever, skating around 102. I knew something was brewing yesterday. But I crossed my fingers and hoped it would pass.
But it didn’t. She woke up miserable, coughing, runny nose, burning hot forehead. So we let her open her gifts from Santa while I called around for the nearest open urgent care.
Not how I wanted to spend my Christmas.
I spoke to the receptionist at the nearest emergency care facility who said we’re open, come on down, tossed on the nearest t-shirt and cleanest smelling yoga pants, tucked Kate into her car seat, and off we went.
On the way, I saw families walking, enjoying Christmas morning together. I wanted to be enjoying Christmas with everyone in my family. We were supposed to head over to my parent’s for brunch and gifts and coffee. At a stoplight (one of many I hit on the way there and one of the only cars on the road), Kate said, “mama, it’s Jingle Bells. Turn it up!”
So we mustered up our joy and sang Christmas songs all the way to the urgent care parking lot. In the waiting room it was Kate and two teenage girls in various states of distress, what appeared to be the flu and a potential allergic reaction. My first thought was ugh, uuugghhh, I don’t want to wait here, but then Kate snuggled into my lap and we watched various news segments on the funniest Christmas gifts and Kate snuggled into my chest and I stroked her hot forehead. And I remembered how I’m working on leaning into gratefulness and rethinking my thoughts when life drives me crazy.
There we sat, snuggled together in the waiting room for an hour. And then and hour while the kind nurse and doctor checked Kate over carefully and diagnosed a double ear infection. As I wrapped my arms around Kate’s long body in the exam room chair, I thought, really, this is nothing. Nothing compared to the heart ache and sadness many people face this time of year. This is an inconvenience. This is not an actual problem. And so it wasn’t quite the Christmas morning I had in mind, definitely not a Pinterest or Instagram worthy moment of those I envy. But it was a chance to think about how fortunate I am. For the fact that these sick days are rare in our house, access to good care, a comfortable life.
On our way out, the nurse gave me a sympathetic smile and patted my back and said I’m sorry, I hope you have a good rest of your Christmas. And I said, “No, please, thank you. I’m the lucky one.”