Last night and yesterday was nearly perfect.  If you ignore a minor freak out over homework, a throbbing headache and more shopping than I wanted to be doing, the whole day was pretty ideal.

We started (as Jews do) the night before.  I left work around three o’clock to go to Jessie’s doctor appointment, and discovered the back drivers side window on my van had been snapped off.  The whole thing was gone, shattered on the ground next to it.  I was so mad – I’m not a girl who gets mad, as a rule.  I try and cultivate the whole zen, life is short kind of philosophy, but I was furious.  And cold, because nobody wins when you’re hurtling along the highway with the back window wide open.  The doctor’s appointment was lovely, my girl grew five inches this past year, and is a paragon of health.   I was still mad (and cold) but it’s always a good thing to hear that your daughter is beautiful and well spoken and totally healthy.  She got four shots, and handled them like an adult.  Really.  This is a kid that I once had to drag, kicking and screaming and hyperventilating, down to the lab for bloodwork.  A kid who had never, not once, ever gotten shots without a full blown panic attack – but she was so grown up and adorable (is that oxymoronic?)  She was both – very adult in that she knew she had to do it, and wanted to do it, but was still super nervous and chatty and so damn cute.

We got home, and dinner wasn’t ready (a minor pet peeve – I really tried hard to have dinner ready when Marc got home on Friday nights, not that he ever cared one way or another – and the fact that it wasn’t ready was frustrating).  But eventually dinner was finished, and then Julie lost her mind.  She’s very much a fan of tradition – and we traditionally serve the same kind of thing for Shabbat dinner.  Baked chicken, a starch, a veggie and challah.  Marc made squash (my favorite) and then a deconstructed potpie that we could layer over the squash (or mashed potatoes – because Julie asked for potato instead of squash).  Julie was livid at the change, and raged for a while.  Literally laid on the kitchen floor kicking and screaming over the lack of baked chicken.  In the end (after realizing that all the kicking in the world wasn’t going to produce the chicken she wanted), she went in the freezer and brought me a potpie to cook.  So she had potpie for Shabbat dinner (Sam, with no fanfare or production, took one look at dinner and made himself some cereal and brought that to the table.)

My point (however longwinded…) is that we’ve finally reached the point where we have the Shabbat dinners I always wanted.  Everyone sits around the table, and eats and talks and shares.  It’s not always easy to get there, and sometimes one of us or another will freak out and run screaming from the table (or lay on the kitchen floor and rage at the lack of baked chicken), but for the most part, we’ve reached the point, as a family, where all seven of us can gather at the table and I’m grateful for it every single time.

Saturday morning, I woke up sick.  Not desperately ill or anything – but headachy and exhausted.  Sam and I stayed home from synagogue and went to go get my window taped up.  Getting the back window replaced is not an easy thing, they’ll have to either find a used one or order one from toyota.  So it’ll be a few days, and now I’m rocking some bright orange tape around plastic over the window and can’t open my back door, as it’s taped shut.

Marc took the girls to the synagogue (because Julie absolutely loves going to Hebrew school), and Jessie went to Model UN.  Then I dragged Jessie out shopping for more school supplies (Girlfriend needs an unending supply of new notebooks, pens and index cards).  In theory, I was staying home and cleaning, and truly, I did a heroic amount of laundry yesterday, but mostly when I wasn’t shopping, I was lying on the couch reading.  Marc did an enormous amount of dishes, and did all the cooking (plus cleaned out the shoe basket when Julie inadvertently dumped a bowl of salsa in it).

But last night – that’s where it got great.  After dinner (Daddy’s restaurant, everyone got something different as Marc was home and in the mood to accomodate), we all curled up on the couch and watched a movie together.  I snuggled up with Sammy, and Marc was on the other couch with the girls.  It was just peaceful and relaxed and easy – and one of those night that I’ll look back on wistfully when they’re all big and the thought of spending Saturday at home with Marc and I watching Peabody and Sherman is ridiculous.

I do love this time in my life.  I do.  I love working, and I love that all of my kids are growing and healthy (not that we know yet what’s wrong with Sam, but we do have a nice anti-spasmodic medication that makes the discomfort go away, so it’s tolerable).   I love that Marc has a job that he loves, and is busy and challenged and focused.  Jessie is more adult every day, Sam is so much happier now that he’s not miserably uncomfortable, and Julie is so independent and big.  I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss my babies, when Sammy would sob thru the blessing on Friday nights every single week, and Shabbat dinners were so challenging we’d send the girls to eat by themselves at the little table in the living room.  I miss nursing a baby to sleep on my lap.

We’re no further along in finding out what’s wrong with Sam.  I suppose that’s not entirely right – we know it’s not h pylori, and we know that the stool sample came back negative.  We know he’s not lactose intolerant.

We also know that he has diarrhea a lot, seven times on Monday afternoon and at least once a day since then.  We know that he hurts, a lot, and when he isn’t actively in pain, he’s afraid of when it’s coming again.

We know that he can push thru the pain if there’s something he wants – he can ignore the diarrhea if he’s got a book fair he’d like to hit, and he didn’t mention his stomach once the day that Ryan came over for a playdate.  We know that it’s a lot worse when he’s hungry.

It’s all baffling, and frustrating and bordering on scary.   If I just KNEW what it was – but the not knowing is hard.  And if it’s hard on me, as the mom, imagine how much harder it is for a nine year old boy, who’s already got tendencies towards anxiety.

So there’s that.  Jessie had her bat mitzvah study session yesterday and cried the whole way over to the synagogue from school.  I think that’s just what she needs to do – there’s something about the one-on-one studying that freaks her out.  The day that this bat mitzvah is over is a day that I’ll celebrate.  Probably in the street, because I can’t find a hall to have the party in, but that’s another problem for another day.  She’s got her Model UN conference coming up later this month, and the anticipation is intense.

Julie – oh, my Julie.  She’s doing well in kindergarten, but she doesn’t always like playing with kids her own age.  She’s Jessie, just seven years younger.  She’s me.  I remember my mother hearing the same thing about me when I was six or seven.  Melissa doesn’t really play with the other kids, she seems perfectly happy alone.  My mother thought it was the divorce, and maybe it was, but more than likely, it was just an aspect of my personality that I’ve shoved over onto my daughters.  We’ll socialize, sure, on our terms and only when we’re in the mood.  When we aren’t in the mood, it’s nothing personal – we’d just rather not.  But she’s brilliant and kind and I’m so proud of my girl.

In other news – Marc’s still running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  He’s been working late every night this week, not coming home until after I’m asleep every night.  I’m grateful for his office – because at least he doesn’t have to add on the commute back and forth to Westford each day.  But the weekends are precious – because that’s the only time we see him.