I was lying in Betsy's bed, her foot wedged between my ribs, thinking. It was 3 in the morning. We started out in my bed - "Mommy I don't feel well and I miss you" - but she had thrown up all over it. So we moved to her bed.
There's just so much to think about at 3 in the morning! There's financial aid, taxes, the strange rattle coming from the right rear of my car, work, the dream I had about feeding my therapist rice and black beans, the pellet stove our next door neighbors installed that is venting directly into our windows, and how to navigate the coming child-home-sick-from-school day(s). To say nothing of politics, religion, death and Lucy and I who seem to be in the terrible two's of our relationship.
"What would a dog be doing?" I asked myself at 3:00 a.m. as Lucy suggested I do every few hours to see whether I really am ready for a dog. What would the dog be doing now?
At 3:05 a.m. it occurred to me what I need in life is more debt. More debt would enable us to be eligible for more financial aid. And if that debt came in the form of a car, it might also enable us key-less entry and satellite radio. It seemed like a good idea. Note to self: buy unaffordable car.
At 3:15 I started thinking I wanted to have a baby. No no, I would adopt a baby. Betsy could be an older sister, I could do the mothering-of-an-infant thing better than I did the first time, our little family wouldn't feel so little and, of course, we would be eligible for more financial aid.
At 3:30 I thought I smelled gas. I dragged myself out of Betsy's bed to check the stove, the oven, the lights, the front yard, the back door, upstairs, downstairs. Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a small one-story Japanese home like the one we visit at the Children's Museum? Did I mention on the financial aid forms that Betsy is a quarter Japanese, it could only help.
At 3:45 I tried to imagine life without Lucy and got really sad until 4:00 when I asked myself again, "What would the dog be doing?"
At 4:15 Betsy stirred. I quickly grabbed a small trashcan, lined it with a plastic bag from Toys R Us, and positioned it near her. We spend so much money on toys. What if the school knew?
At 4:30 the cat tried to fly from the nightstand to the top bunk. I wrestled her down and then had to feed her. Too bad I can't declare her as a dependent.
At 5:00, with dawn only an hour away, I fell asleep.
Betsy was fine today. But here comes the night.
I wonder what the dog is doing.