So while it turned out that Tera did not wake up entirely covered in bumps, she was still covered enough to be sent home from school, again. Another visit to the doctor with dad and $15 later, she has a note to return confirming what we already knew; she is one of the lucky 5% to experience a rash as a side effect of one or both of her vaccines.
So she spent the second half of her day home with dad and I was lucky enough to be able to spend some quality play time with her tonight. She didn't nap well again today, probably because she's congested during the day lately, and was ready for bed by 6:45 but this time she fell asleep during her bottle, laid her head on my shoulder and went right to sleep. These are the nights I live for.
This past weekend I was on my way back from some errands and was driving through a rather upscale neighborhood near our house. As I drove through and admired the huge houses and how they are probably not trying to figure out how they can store extra towels behind their bathroom mirror due to a small linen closet, I started thinking about "perfect" families. There is a lot you can dream about or imagine when you look at someone's house without knowing anything about them.
I see these houses and I imagine the stereotypical 2.5 kids with the proverbial white picket fence, the parents are happily married, the kids excel in school, college funds are funded, traditions are celebrated, sports are played, and there are neighborhood block parties where all neighbors actually know and socialize with each other. A bit too tv-ish? Perhaps, but those shows are based on someone somewhere.
I think about these things and I wonder if people drive by our house, which is nowhere near as estate-like but is probably a step up for somebody and makes us happy, and think the same thing about us, and I laugh.
I'm sure to some people, Tom and I live that stereotypical suburban life. We dated each other in high school, graduated from college with your somewhat traditional business and teaching degrees, got jobs pretty quickly, got married, bought a house, two cars, dog, cat, and after a few years, had a kid.
Here's what is not evident to the average onlooker. I drive a full size truck and Tom drives a Mini Cooper. This tends to throw people off a little, especially when they see the two vehicles parked in our garage next to each other. Our dog is and always has been "special". She's a quirky little canine that has had more issues than I care to list here (one is that she hates the rain and usually has to be accompanied by an umbrella) but is amazingly loving and crazy loyal. Our cat is one of the only felines that I've ever known to be afraid of heights, she likes to lick our bedpost, and will sleep on any piece of clothing left out.
Our house's decor is, well, different to say the least. It's a style that suits us perfectly but leaves some people wondering what the hell they've gotten themselves into when they enter. We also have some kind of unique features in our house courtesy of my incredibly talented and creative husband (the reference above to towels behind the bathroom mirror is one of his latest ingenious ideas that involves putting my bathroom mirror on a tv swing arm so I can use the space behind it).
Oh yeah, then there's our kid. She was destined to be a little different from the start. She has a decent collection of boys clothes (not hand me downs by the way), her room is decorated in Star Wars, she has a Monster High doll, she's encouraged to yell frequently, her bedroom playlist and bedtime music include Pantera and Mudvayne among others, she has had and probably will have a mohawk again, and her first birthday party had a Blackhawks theme. There's also that whole visiting the doctor on an almost weekly basis and having four therapists to evaluate her every move.
What all this meant to me was that our life is not the picture of suburban perfection, and I love it. I don't love, especially lately, the one the thing that has really set Tera apart from most other kids, but it too is a part of our weird little life. We live our life in a way that makes us happy. Sure sometimes we enjoy the shock value (for the record, I really never rebelled before I was 25), but mostly we do what we feel is "us". Our friends and our family mostly get it, we get the occasional rolling of the eyes, but they love us no matter what.
And no matter how open minded I am, I will probably continue to assume the same things about those crazy big houses; I'm sure I'm mostly wrong, but I can't help it.