1. Do I start with the rest of last week that was a frenzy of preparation getting ready for the family visit, a celebration of Easter, and caring for poor Myrtle who injured her leg and now had to live in a 2 x 3 foot dog cage in our sunroom? Next to the chirping, frenzied 2 week old chicks?
2. Do I start with the weekend that was an intense mix of family; cooking meals; cleaning up from meals; preparing the next meal; cleaning; attending to parent needs; snatching moments to enjoy the charms of my 15 month old nephew; trying to hold my exhausted, overwhelmed 11 year old together; negotating the challenges of my parents current infirmities and all the family dynamics surrounding them that seemed to ratchet up higher and higher over the weekend? The weekend wound me up, sucked me dry, and spit me out. On so many levels. But, hopefully, it accomplished it's primary goal - a positive family experience for my parents.
3. Do I start with multiple emotionally intense hours on Monday dealing with friendship issues with Layla - an ongoing roller-coaster as she tries to create a circle of friends in our new life?
4. Do I start with just before spending the afternoon on Tuesday with friends finding out that Layla DID get accepted into SW Virginia Ballet's junior company? Something she's been working towards and hoping for and worrying about all year?
5. Do I start with our decision Tuesday night - while out celebrating the ballet company acceptance - to bail on making a road trip to IKEA in Charlotte, NC to buy Layla's desk because we are just. too. freakin'. exhausted to even contemplate something like that.
6. Do I start with my hope, given the road trip cancellation, that Wednesday would be a more restful, relaxing, fun day, but instead it becomes a day I run around that house trying to catch up on a million things I'm behind on. And during which I bring in to the house another chicken, Dominique, who's been acting funny all week, and soak her in a warm bath and do other unmentionable things to because I'm worried she's egg bound? And we tuck her into the cage with Myrtle to spend the night and see if she's better in the morning?
7. Do I start with Thursday during which I first think Dominique looks better so I put her back outside, but she seems worse over the course of the day. Or the moment when I realize that Myrtle can't stand up without using her wings and appears unable to walk. Or the moment when we were driving back from somewhere and I see a wild rabbit, hit by a car, dragging herself along the side of the road by her front paws because her back end is crushed. So after driving 2 blocks I turn around and go back and pick her up and take her to the vet to be put out of her misery? Because I just can't live with the vision in my head?
8. Do I start with another intense emotional period with Layla that afternoon working through some issues we continue to struggle with?
9. Do I start with taking Myrtle to the vet, waiting for over an hour, and learning that something very serious now appears to be going on, and depending on what that is, this may be Myrtle's last day?
10. Do I start with the multiple phone calls with the vet later that night, who has kept Myrtle for the night, during which I learn she has "profound" anemia and pneumonia, and during which we review the various medication and test options we can choose to pursue - or not - depending on how far we want to take this?
11. Do I start with the phone call to the vet this morning in which he said Myrtle seems a bit better, and we can bring her home but will need to administer multiple medications for the next few days until the various test results come back. And that Dominique seems a bit better today but I'm still bringing her to see the vet when we go to pick up Myrtle because I am so paranoid now that we are going to lose one or more of our chicken babies and neither Layla nor I have the strength for that heartbreak right now. Not after the roller coast week of getting the new chicks, and losing baby Hera, and the insanity of the last 2 weeks, and how unstable we're both feeling right now?