Your life doesn’t stop with bad news. You keep living it and deal. Last night after taking the tots to swim class, Phil headed to the country club for a burger, the sprouts went to kids club, and I attended a friend’s margarita party. "This," I thought, "is why I live in Texas." RSVP margarita parties. Love it. I also wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I needed a big fat drink.
The truth is, I’m not very social. I love going out, but the reality of my world is work, it’s home with the taters, it’s nights of DVR’d programming. And I’m good with that, but when I make a connection with someone, like I have with my friend Leslie, whose party it was, there’s no chance I’d miss it.
As soon as I arrived, she welcomed me with a warm Texan hug. That’s the thing about Texans. They don’t greet with cheek kisses. In fact, they don’t really kiss hello at all. They’re into hugging. She has one of those faces–angelic. I feel like I’ve known her all my life, except I also know so little about her. It’s an extraordinary feeling, wanting so much more time with someone. To just gab and share and listen. I love girlfriends. Here’s what I don’t love: TALK ABOUT DROWNING TODDLERS.
There was mingling. Nice to meet you’s. And my hair was still wet from swimming class. Just the other day, I was in a doctor’s office being told that if Phil is ever in the pool holding one of the babies, I should always be close by. Because if something happens, the doctor said, "You get the baby out of the pool first, then you get Phil out." Jesus. So that’s where my mind is. And then I find myself suddenly in a conversation about swim classes, that turns on me, and the women begin to discuss TODDLER DROWNS stories, incidents involving a mother going out for a jog while her mother-in-law looks after the kids, only to return to find her three year old at the bottom of the pool. FUCK NO PEOPLE. This is a party. You must stop.
"You know, it’s worse with twins," a mother of twins says to me. "Because the one twin always just follows the other. If a twin drowns, you’ll always find the other twin at the bottom of the pool next to him." AND THAT’S WHEN I SIMPLY WALKED AWAY. I couldn’t deal. It’s not that they were saying anything wrong, but I physically could not take it. I turned away mid-sentence and couldn’t engage. Maybe it’s what’s going on in my world now. Maybe I’m just sensitive to it. Maybe anyone would be. It doesn’t really matter.
I was explaining to someone yesterday that what I feel right now is what I felt when I’d walk Linus in New York. Here’s my sweet baby, all is well, but when I’d see someone approaching who was about to go in and pet Linus, my anxiety would spike. I knew there was a possibility that he’d bite off their knuckles. Sometimes nothing bad happened at all, but that rise of anxiety was always there. That’s what it’s like now. Every time Phil gets behind the wheel. When I unbuckle the beans, and pull them from their car seats, I think, "What if something happens to him while he’s in the car with them? What if some officer has to come to my door to tell me my whole family has died tragically?" The thoughts do no good. Why go there? That’s no way to live or think. It’s exactly why I have to walk away at parties where the conversation turns to drowning children. Because I don’t want to drown in my own thoughts. Instead, I choose to turn my attention to the smiles in the room, to the cheese sauce on the enchiladas, to the margarita machine out back, to the colorful linens, and creative details Leslie put into the night. I’m all about keeping that margarita glass half full.