This morning I slept in.  This is unlike me.  Generally, I set three alarms to ensure I am up at five and showered by 5:30.  I have far too much to do to whittle the day away sleeping.  But I knew from the fitful sleep last night that all three of my children would be home from school today.  So I set my alarm for 6:30, which is unheard of for me.

And it’s not that I slept horribly.  I woke up with the kids when they got up in the middle of the night.  But mostly I slept soundly.  I just didn’t sleep nearly enough.

Oddly, it wasn’t one of the kids who woke me up.  It wasn’t the weather, as it has been so many times before.  It wasn’t the light, the dark, or a loud noise.  It was a steady trickle.

My dog was peeing on my wall.

I get it; it’s not entirely his fault.  He’s old, and he’s got a bit of an attitude problem.  We usually have him in a diaper.  But the diapers can be wiggled out of.  And he fucking pissed on my wall.  It was going to be a shitty day.

And truly, that was the start of a really shitty day.

One of my twins had been sick yesterday.  She had gone into work with me yesterday, where she slept all day, curled up in my office chair. 

I wasn’t concerned enough to take her in to a doctor. 

This morning she woke first of the three and immediately collapsed into the couch dowstairs, falling back asleep.

Then the second child awoke, also sick.

The third child woke, feeling neglected and boisterous because she wasn’t sick.

Then I noticed, on the oldest child’s cheek was blood, pus, and other pink junk gushing from her ear.

Crap.  It was going to be a shitty day.

As we pulled into the doctor’s parking lot, my second child noticed the splotches on the first’s hands.  She had a rash all over.

As we got into the doctor’s offce, her eyes began to crust up.

The next thing I knew, I was picking up antibiotics for three kids with strep. 

Before I knew it, it was advised that I get treated, that the foreign exchange student gets treated, that we quarantine, etc.  Meanwhile, my youngest child was screaming because she wasn’t getting the attention she wanted.

And I just felt like I could hear the dog pissing on the wall still.

Three temper tantrums, two vomits, and a gushing ear later, we stumbled our way to bedtime.  The kids are all sleeping soundly as I type.

It was a shitty day.

It used to be, not so long ago, I would face a day like that, then crawl into the fetal position and ask anyone who would listen for a hug. 

But today, I found myself looking at my children and saying, gosh, they really look like they could use a hug.

In fact, I’ve though that about a lot of people today.

It’s not that I don’t need or want a hug.  I want endless amounts of them to arrive on my doorstop daily.  But I didn’t crave one.  I didn’t feel empty without one.

I felt whole.

I felt okay.

I felt like I had just had another day.

Some people may say I’m not as fun as I used to be.  That may be true.  I’ve weathered a few storms…and some of them have been rough…heartbreaking.

But the point is that I have come out alive.  I HAVE come out whole.  I have come out leaner, tougher, stronger.

I guess instead of writing one of theose popular open letters to Lance Armstrong, I’d write one to my own adversity.  It would say something like this:

“Adversity, I hate you.  You are one tough motherfucker who can screw yourself with 10,000 rusty nails.  You are not welcome in my life anymore.  But goddamn it, in spite of it all, you have made me stronger.  You have made me grow up.  You have made me who I am and who I need to be.  I never want to see you again, you lousy piece of shit.  But thank you for the person you made me.

Life has been humbling for me the past 18 months.  But if you think for one second I’m not sticking around to kick ass in round two, then you’ve got another thing coming.  And this time, it’s personal.

Anyone need a hug?