Today we went to IKEA. We moved into our little house a year ago tomorrow and to mark the occasion we thought we’d refresh the place a little. A new sisal in the kitchen, fresh duvet covers; minor changes that feel major.
Mihiretu has been feeling a little barfy the last couple days. This isn’t necessarily unusual. He was malnourished until he came to America. He overeats and then his stomach rebels. But it seems that he is bonafide sick at the moment. His energy is low, he was up in the night spitting into a bowl.
But we – ok, the girls and I - were excited about the IKEA idea. I lured Mihiretu into the car with an iPad and a quilt. Once at the Swedish Marketplace (as my Garage friends euphemistically title it), we settled him into the cart with a borrowed pillow.
Within an hour we were falling apart at the seams. We couldn’t agree, the girls were competing over who got more stuff for their respective rooms (always a metaphor for parental love), everyone was hungry. We took a break, waited in the crazy long line and got ourselves some meatballs.
Mihiretu ate everything in front of him in three minutes and then said, mournfully, eyes big, “Mama…”
I placed an almost empty plate under his mouth just in time to catch the torrent of barely digested ligonberry-mashed-potato mayhem.
When that plate was exhausted, I grabbed another. And then another. Around us, people kept eating, oblivious. We were all laughing, even Mihiretu.
“Well,” I said as we hastily exited the cafeteria, “That certainly cheered us up.”
We somehow made it home with our booty. Mihiretu promptly crashed on the couch. And our plans of going to our friend Megan’s house for the evening were revised.
And so I sit on this blue leather couch that I found (and haggled for) on craigslist a year ago, listening to Death Cab for Cutie covering Yaz, a fire in the stove. Something I’ve spent a lot of time doing this year. I’ll ring in the new year alone, in the presence of sleeping children – something else I’ve spent a lot of time doing. And it all feels right.
This was one fuck of a year, 2014. I wouldn’t trade it but it wasn’t easy. I’m so, so curious about what 2015 has to offer. If this year has been anything, it’s been unpredictable. I expect the same for the next. There’s a beauty in that.