When we left off, April was on her way to the hospital...
But wait, there's more. Beyond my need to overuse old TV cliches, I realize I've somehow jumped ahead by about a year.
The girls and I lived in our own apartment in L.A. for about a year before X moved out here. During the summer, I got bored. Well, not bored, exactly, but I felt I had a hang of the whole single motherhood thing (ha ha ha - it's just a lull in the drama. This is one of the reasons I believe in seeing the glass as half-empty), and not only that, but I was freaking out about how I was going to keep up with the financial obligations. Beyond the day care for Riley and the usual household expenses, there was all the money for school activities (in a public school - but that's another rant for another day). School pictures, school plays, buying cookie dough and gift wrap for the school fundraisers, buying cookie dough and gift wrap for all my colleagues' kids' school fundraisers to thank them for all the cookie dough and gift wrap they'd bought for Sylvia's, buying thank-you presents for teachers, and birthday gifts for Sylvia's friends' bday parties...the list was endless.
I realized that while I was a good assistant, there was only so much money in that. Not only that, but I had no other marketable skills, really. My years of singing, dancing, acting, producing, directing, and teaching meant nothing in the real world. After I got over my depression about that, I knew I had to do something. I started Antioch that fall.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled post:
So the whole weekend the girls were gone, I was in pain on and off. I even called an ambulance at one point, but of course, by the time they got there, I was feeling fine again. They recommended I go in to emergency care, but can you think of anything less fun than a Saturday night in an ER?
In my infinite wisdom, I chose denial. Monday after work, I happened to be watching two other kids in our apt. complex. The only comparable pain I've experienced is labor. And I'd say the two were a toss-up. In fact, labor's better because you get a baby at the end of it.
I called my dad, who recognized the pain as most likely being gall stones. We passed the neighborhood kids off to another neighbor, my mom took the girls to their place, and my dad and I headed for the ER. Only a two hour wait on a Monday night.
I was checked in and my dad said they'd watch the girls as long as necessary.
I spent the next four days in bliss on my morphine. This drug rocked! I slept like I haven't slept in years. It was a little annoying when I attempted to talk to the girls when my parents brought them every night, but other than that, I couldn't imagine a better vacation from single parenthood. (Well, except for the upcoming cruise. 127 days...)
But, of course, by the end of it, I was ready to get the heck out of the hospital. I was lucid more and more, and being sober in a hospital pretty much sucks.
We decided to surprise the girls on Friday by having me in the car when we went to pick them up. Oh, were they thrilled to see me!
It became clear in the days and weeks that followed how scared the girls had been of losing me. Much like what Kori and Hannah went through with CSG (if you don't know what I'm talking about - well, you should really be reading Kori's blog by now!) It was an event that made them think about what their lives would be without me.
Yet another unfair reality they had to face at young ages (I think they were 7 & 9 at the time).
The silver lining was that Sylvia stopped giving me such a hard time about X. But I would've taken that over the fear that it instilled in them.
X also claimed to have been scared straight. A week later, I let him babysit the girls at our place while I went to see "Wicked" (for the first time). I'd been let out of the hospital with a prescription for Vicodin. There were about 27 of 30 pills in the bottle when I left for the show. When I came back, there were 3.
Now I had to figure out how to let the girls have a relationship with their father that didn't include babysitting at my place, or any opportunity for him to break any laws. This was going to be tough.