I am tired.
Wait, let me rephrase that.
I. Am. TIRED.
Yes, that’s better.
This week has been insane. The market volume and volatility has been quite literally unprecedented. She (anyone doubt that’s the right gender pronoun for this tape?) twists and turns like Mr Toad’s Wild ride as those of us on the institutional side of Wall Street do our best to provide liquidity, maintain order and stability, and try desperately not to kill each other in the process.
Luau has been out of town all week. He will return tomorrow to find me pretending to be happy that he had a nice break with his friends while I not so subtly grind my teeth.
I mean, I am happy for him. He deserves a break. He really does. But. Um. NOW? Right now?
Single moms, I bow to you. Treat yourself to something tonight. Make it good.
On Wednesday I thought about putting up a sign that read,
“If you need me, I will be under my desk in the fetal position”
Didn’t seem wise.
This morning, I got a call from Julie, who is acting as a nanny for me this week while Luau is gone (since if I take one more hour off work I’m guessing I may as well not come back).
It was 8:27 am and the markets were already overheated. The s&p futures were limit up, the DJIA futures were looking up nearly 400 points and the information (bailout! SEC bans on short selling in financials!) was flying at us so fast there was barely time to distill it no less disseminate it. I was on one line with another on hold when she called.
“Jess, it’s Julie.”
I could tell by her voice that this wasn’t going to be good.
“I hate to call, but I didn’t know what to do.”
Julie always knows what to do. Not. Good.
I could hear Katie crying in the background. Not Brooke, Katie.
Her voice was pleading. “Julie, please ask Mama to come home.” Sob.
For the sake of my daughter’s privacy, I won’t get into the specifics of the situation. Suffice to say she was having some significant trouble in the bathroom. For half an hour. She was in pain, frightened and miserable.
Someday we’ll both likely find the whole thing funny. There’s nothing like potty humor for a good laugh.
But when you’re seven and your tummy hurts like hell and you can’t um – get it out (it’s worse than that, but that description will have to suffice), it ain’t funny. When school starts in three minutes and your babysitter is there and your dad or mom is not, it ain’t funny. When you’re begging your mom to come home (which you NEVER, EVER do) and you don’t understand why she can’t, it ain’t funny.
When I’m trying to field a stream of literally constant calls from institutional traders who can’t be asked to wait and keep my head above water and my baby’s crying, it ain’t funny.
I calmed Katie down and gave Julie the best instructions I could muster over the phone. I called a neighbor and dear friend and asked her to take Brooke to school. There are approximately three people in this world that could do that. She’s one of them. She was at my house not two minutes later.
I got a call at 9:15 from a happy but hurting Katie. An hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish, but she was ok.
I cajoled her into going to school, despite her nervousness about showing up late. (“These kids are nosy, Mama. They’re going to want to know where I was.”) I thanked Julie and I promised her hazard pay.
All while continuing to answer the questions that were flying at me electronically and taking note of the building queue of phone calls to return.
Life as a one armed paper hanger.
Yes, I am tired.
But it’s Friday.
I will curl up tonight and sleep like the dead. Oh, wait, in a fit of pique this morning I promised Katie that she could sleep in my bed tonight (just like when we were on our trip, Mama, please?”) So I’ll sleep like the undead tonight. The kicked and shoved and drooled on not quite dead.
I have no plans for tomorrow. None. I will not make any. I will amble my way through the day, hugging my girls as much as they’ll let me. Don’t call. Don’t ask to come over. Don’t ask me to come to your place. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
It just means I’m tired.