Pippa’s search for bosom friends.

Any one who knows my youngest daughter, Pippa, knows she is a character. She is outrageously funny. She can be a little saucy. She has the best giggle and a really fast wit. She has me laughing out loud daily. She also doesn’t care at all if you don’t like her and she will never try to impress a stranger.

Last year in Portugal at the parent teacher meeting at school, her teacher told me she really wished Pippa would come out of her shell. She said Pippa rarely spoke. She certainly never made jokes or laughed in school at all. I was shocked; like knock me on the ground shocked. The girl she was describing was not my daughter. I could hardly wait to see Pippa and ask her why she behaved so differently at school. My mind was racing. Was she being bullied? Was she scared? Was she friendless? She had been home schooled for awhile, so I started thinking I might have made her a freak.

I questioned Pippa when we got home and her answer surprised me. She said, “mom, school is for learning. I don’t want to get in trouble for talking. I talk enough at home.” Let me be clear, I spent most of my life in elementary school in trouble for talking too much. I was put under the piano in kindergarten to think about my behavior. I just thought, “my teacher is mean.” I never stopped talking. My tap dancing teacher in third grade said I had verbal diarrhea. I was disgusted by her description, but it didn’t deter me.

I thought Pippa might want to make friends by being funny. She could certainly be the next Mrs. Maisel, but she doesn’t care. I think she might have a little fear of getting in trouble, but mostly because she wouldn’t want to miss recess, for what? Chatting to some kids…no thanks. When she meets people she quietly assesses the situation and them. Almost like Anne Shirley, from “Anne of Green Gables,” wanted a bosom friend, Pippa is on the lookout for bosom friends. When she finds them, she comes alive.

I will admit, I wish I was more discerning. I need to be like Pippa and take my time. To listen and pay attention to the people who will be my bosom friends. I really wish the world could meet the hilarious daughter I keep at home, but she’s not interested in impressing the masses and for now, I am realizing how lucky I am not to have to share.

Pneumonia sucks.

Maggie got the flu the week before school ended for Christmas vacation. She was completely taken down. Before I realized she had the flu, I let her sleep with me. I wanted to look after her and check her temperature during the night. It serves me right for actually caring about my teenage daughter. Then Pippa got sick. She didn’t have the flu, but a sinus and lung infection. We spent 10 days in London, UK running around like idiots. Everyone felt a little tired, but we refused to give in.

When we returned from London, I had a massive headache. I thought I was jetlagged. Then when the headache got worse and didn’t go away, I thought I had a sinus infection. I sought no professional help. Clearly, I felt like I knew my body and was some kind of an expert. I was wrong.

One day while FaceTiming my mother, she told me I looked like crap and that grown women shouldn’t have a temperature of 103° for days on end. She forced my priest to take me to the doctor.

After multiple tests, X-rays and swabs for the flu, it was determined that I had a pretty severe case of pneumonia.  I was sent home with multiple antibiotics and an inhaler.  I couldn’t leave my bed for days….even when I wanted to.  My priest began to spiral.  He cannot cook.  He cannot clean.  He CAN buy pretty flowers and he knows how to order takeout.  Thankfully we have returned to the south and people took pity on us. Food was delivered by multiple people and I had offers of so much more.

The one thing I remembered most about living in the south, was the kindness of everyone when you need it most. I remember when Pippa was born and food was delivered to our home nonstop. It made us feel so loved. This time around, with pneumonia, was no exception. Our fridge was full, my children were fed and more importantly my priest was able to just look after me. I digress….

I had signed up to do a half marathon on Hilton Head Island way back in October. I had been training for the run and was excited about completing the beautiful and flat course.  When I returned from London, I had to resume my training. I took time off while we were visiting London because we were walking 25,000 steps per day while being educated by my priest about every historical fact ever known about London. Good times.

The day we got home, I went for short run of 3 miles with a pounding headache and what I believed to be a sinus infection.  The next day, I was scheduled to run 6 miles. I told my family that I wasn’t feeling very well, but that I was sure a good run would make me feel better. I left the house and thankfully instead of running in the woods, I went to a local track. Once I am determined to do something, there is very little chance that I will get deterred. I had set out to run 6 miles, therefore I would run 6 miles.  Around mile 2 I realized I couldn’t breathe very well. I thought it was because the day was very humid and I was tired and jetlagged. Finally at mile three, I quit. I got back in my car and drove home. My priest was shocked to see me back so quickly. I told him I didn’t feel great and that I just needed to take it easy.  I knew I had a fever for days, but again ignored it.  The next day I found out I had pneumonia. I am not very smart.

It has been 6 weeks now.  I have had two chest X-rays since and I still have pneumonia.  I am still tired and I still need to use the inhaler.  You know they say a summer body is made in the winter….well this summer I am going to look like how I feel…an exhausted slug.