Two things I've done this past week have garnered a "Girl, what are you thinking?" response from my friends. First, I hosted Aria's third birthday party with 21 very vigorous children at a bounce house. And the second was to volunteer as a nurse at our church's Vacation Bible School, which welcomes 4,000 - count 'em, four thousand - kids for the week.
While it may sound intimidating, the bounce house birthday party was surprisingly fun. The kids seemed happy to be able to exert some of their boundless energy out of the 100-degree heat (...big sigh....I will post about the oppressive Texas summer heat in due time, friends, in due time; probably in August when it is its most unbearable and I'm once again longing for the cool breezes of Liechtenstein). Aria seemed a little disconcerted by the sheer volume of the Happy Birthday song intoned by all those lively, well-meaning, off-key children, but the large number of battery-powered (thanks) noise-producing (again, thanks) toys with small misplaceable parts (uh huh, thanks) she received seemed to make up for it.
(Have I said thank you, my friends? Have no fear. I will return the favor at your kid's next birthday. Mmmwahh-ha-ha.)
Working as a nurse for the jillion kids attending this week's Vacation Bible School also sounds intimidating, and let me assure you, it was. It was also a big leap of faith. See, I'm a baby nurse. Always have been, always will be. Yes, there's a Master's Degree in my background, and sure, I'm board-certified as a Nurse Practitioner, but what that equals to, y'all, is this: if you are able to tell me what is wrong with you, I am not the nurse for you. If you're a 1-pound, 23-week preemie, bring it on, but if you have a bloody nose, call someone else, preferably somebody who knows what they are doing, as I definitely do not.
Which is what I tried to explain to the kindly volunteer coordinator at church who all but outright begged me to assist there this week. Despite my entreaties that I was completely incapable of the job, she handed me a two-way radio and a first aid kit, and pointed me with a pat on the back to my "zone", which appeared to include about a thousand very active school-age children. When you are the nurse responsible for triaging these active children were they to get injured, the playground equipment becomes exponentially larger and more dangerous than usual, and just makes me want to scream, "Stop it! Right now! No jumping! No running! No playing! Just lay on the ground and be still and safe until my shift is over, or your mother comes back to get you, whichever comes first!"
Mercifully, God was kind to me on my first day, and I only gave out three icepacks. Each of which was for a bug bite. Don't ask me why an ice pack works on a bug bite, it just does. At least it did yesterday. Which is all I care about. Not to mention we were casually handed two Epi Pens by two separate mothers who said, "If so-and-so has an allergic reaction, just use this". To which, I responded, "You want me to HUH???" But fortunately, make that, blessedly, no one went into anaphylactic shock, there were no broken bones or closed-head injuries from that treacherous playground, and I was asked to perform CPR on not one soul. A stellar day! Let's hope Thursday goes equally well.
On a flat note, I've been sidelined recently by an injury I'd like to attribute to running twenty-five miles a week, but to be honest, I know deep in my heart it's due to plain old age. If you're familiar with feet at all - and you are probably not, because few of us are, so don't feel bad - this condition is known as a Morton's Neuroma. What I want to know is, who is this Morton person and what has he done to my foot? In lay terms, it means I have an inflammation of a nerve in the ball of the foot ennervating the 3rd and 4th toes causing significant physical pain.
In fashion terms, it means I can't wear high heels. (Insert weeping and gnashing of teeth).
If you are a person 5'2 or under, you can understand my grief. I'm pretty broken up about it. I'd planned my whole summer wardrobe around several pairs of cute platform sandals, whom I am now only able to remove from their boxes every few days to gaze at and stroke lovingly while whispering words of endearment, and then wrap carefully back up in the tissue, to wait patiently in the bowels of my closet for the joyous day I can put them back on my feet again where they belong. Let me assure you, I've done my absolute durnedest to go down fighting, persevere through the pain, and remain steadfast in my dedication to fashion over health. But now I must wave the white flag. Age has won this battle, and I am retiring the supercute platforms to a shelf in my closet while I wait out the agony that put them there.
To put my devotion to cute shoes in perspective, I'll use a pop culture reference: sometimes in my overactive imagination, I go so far as to think of myself as a Carrie. Who? Carrie. Carrie Bradshaw. A G-rated Carrie Bradshaw. Make that a happily-married, mom-of-two, G-rated Carrie Bradshaw.
Oh, who am I kidding? The only thing Carrie and I have in common is a love of high heels. That, and an ability to do almost anything in them. Until recently, I could do dishes, laundry, grocery shop, vaccuum, run errands, and chase both dogs and kids down the street in my four-inch stilettos if need be. Didn't happen very often, but the point is, I could if I wanted to. Of course, now I can only observe said heels from afar whilst anchoring myself to the floor of the closet in a pair of very un-glamourous flip flops.
Oh well. I guess that essentially makes me now a bounce-house-birthday-party-hosting, vacation-bible-school-volunteering, happily-married, mom-of-two, G-rated Carrie Bradshaw, which I assure you all just canceled each other out, so the high-heeled Carrie Bradshaw-ness of my imagination is no more. Sigh. Incidentally, the good doctor Google tells me I need to have this neuroma surgically removed. After three shots of cortisone failed in their mission to help, my podiatrist concurs. I still deny. Deny, deny, deny. Fashion over health, y'all.
We'll see who wins this battle.
I am aware I'm being a tad melodramatic. The birthday party and VBS were fine. But I am bitter about the heels. I guess it's just time for me to embrace the foot pain, and be the best flip-flop-wearing-icepack-giver-outer I can be.