And I mean that literally.
I’m one of those Christians who doesn’t pay too much attention to the devil. The devil is going to do what he’s going to do, after all. There are some folks who think that every cold and headache are agents of destruction from the devil…whereas in reality, they are the result of shaking hands with dirty people who have the cold virus – who in turn spread it to them. It’s logical.
What is illogical is the type of week I’ve had so far, the contents of which can only truly be attributed as an assignment from the Father of Hades. Everyone has hellish weeks, and it apparently was my time on the devil’s rotation.
It started Sunday. After taking my daughter’s to IHOP to explain what our move to Africa would mean to them, and seeking to reassure them that they would make new friends and still have contact with the ones they’ve made here, I felt confident that they were mentally prepared for this big change. As soon as we got in the car to go home, I got a call from my husband.
“Got some douche baggery for you,” he said.
“The sheriff just showed up with a summons from Douche Bag for an emergency hearing. He’s seeking full custody of Na and trying to prevent you from taking her from the country.”
(I’ll have to talk about that in my next post. The hearing was this Wednesday and it was a sheer comedy. Trust me, you’ll laugh.)
I spent the better part of the first half of the week preparing for my hearing, when I should have been trying to finish up some paperwork for a grant we’re trying to secure to fund our venture in South Africa. I was frustrated and annoyed. I was losing sleep and breast milk. I developed a ringing in my ears. I wasn’t happy, my newborn wasn’t happy, and there was a tremendous spillover effect. After our comedic court hearing on Wednesday, I was certain that my week was about to get better. By 9:00 am Thursday morning the devil showed me he wasn’t quite finished yet.
Still attempting to finish up this grant paperwork, every possible disruption you could think of took place in my home. The kids were insatiable; dirty dishes miraculously kept multiplying in the sink; the baby would not be still unless she was being held; my eldest kept whining and complaining about being bored, despite the options I gave her to entertain herself; the second born just kept whining, period – I was making no progress with my day and was fatigued all around. I didn’t think it could get much worse.
As if bent to prove me wrong and dash whatever inkling of joy and sanity I might have left, the final blow was dealt to me by Nadjah, first fruit of my womb – the one who is supposed to love her mother best. In an attempt to have some “alone time”, she went into my bedroom, turned the lock, stepped OUT of my bedroom and then slammed the door. It was 5 pm, I had prepared myself to go off duty and retreat to my room (which was now locked tight) when my husband came home at 6:30.
“I can’t believe this!” I screamed into the phone. Marshall was on the other end. “All I want to do is take a nap! I can’t anything done, and now I can’t get into my roooooom!!!!”
“I’m coming home right now to fix everything,” he said.
“Well if you’re thinking of unscrewing the hinges on the door, you can’t. They’re on the other side.”
Yeah, she’d screwed us pretty hard.
When my husband finally did get home, he announced he’d have to go to Home Depot for extra tools. None of them worked. After 45 minutes of failed attempts to unlock the door using conventional methods, I announced that I was going to climb on top of our carport and open our bedroom window. They were closed, but not locked.
“The wood on the carport is rotten,” he objected. “You’ll fall right through.”
“They just refurbished our carport,” I retorted. “There were 3 men up here less than 6 months ago.”
“Yeah, but they were all Mexican. They’re not as heavy as you.”
“I’m pretty sure I don’t weigh more than THREE Mexican men.”
I instructed him to get the ladder ready. I was going up. As I prepared to ascend, the heavens broke open and it began to storm. It thundered as if God himself was hosting a Beatles concert and his angels never ceased to applaud. Lightening blazed against the night sky. The rain was hard and torrential. Wearing only a flimsy camisole and some old gray running shorts, I climbed up the (metal) ladder to get to the roof of the (metal) carport above. It was too short. Marshall suggested I climb on top of my car instead. As I stepped gingerly onto the roof of my car, it buckled.
“Oh crap!” I yelled above the thunder. “It only supports 75 lbs up here! I weigh 230!!”
Marshall hoisted my leg to shift the weight and I was up.
As I snaked my way across the (metal!) roof, lightening and rain water blinded me.
Oh God. I’m going to die, I thought. I’m going to die in this dingy camisole and that douche bag is going to take custody of my child.
Finally, I made it over to the window and pushed away the screen. Marshall cheered me on from below.
“You did it babe!”
I lifted the window, freedom and success no more than mere seconds away. Suddenly, the window jammed, halting my progress.
I was screaming.
“Try the other one!” Marshall called from below.
I belly crawled a foot to the left and lifted the window. It was jammed too. Mutha%&**@%^*@!!!
Defeated, I slid backwards across the (metal!!) carport roof. I was abruptly made aware that I could only hear the sound of my own heavy breath. Everything had gone still. This was the part when a fearsome bolt of lightning broke from the night sky and fried me. I was sure of it! As I tried to find my footing on a part of the top of my CR-V that would best support my weight, I lost control of my upper extremities. The jagged edge of the carport was pressing against my belly, and my huge posterior was dangling lifelessly in the direction of our neighbors’ bedroom windows.
Suddenly, his strong hand caught the bottom of my foot and guided me down. Sopping wet, dirty, frustrated and frightened, I limped back into the house, a failure.
The evening ended with Marshall taking a hammer to the door knob and breaking it off.
As I sit here on this Friday the 13th, I am cautiously and nervously observing my surroundings, looking for any sign of trouble. The week ain’t over yet!