Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't Worry, We Had a Gift Card

I close the checkbook and toss it on top of the pile of bills.  A very familiar feeling settles over me, just like it does every weekend when I finish paying bills and organizing the finances.  Mostly fear.  Fear that they won't renew unemployment, fear that next month we'll have an emergency, fear that the savings account is almost dry.  But on top of that fear is the anger.  The anger runs hot through my heart and mind.  It burns through my veins and hijacks my thoughts.  Sometimes it's all I see. 

There was a time that I thought this would be a good thing.  That Clif could find something he really wanted to do.  That he would suddenly land in something that would change our lives.  But that was early on.  When the job loss was fresh.  Now a year in, there's not much of a silver lining.  No grand epiphany or opportunity has knocked at the door. 

I lean back in the chair and stare at the computer screen.  The numbers are in red.  I say a little prayer that my latest written check won't clear until Friday and that the groceries we have will last the week.  I place my hands on my swollen abdomen and feel the baby move side to side.  Ten weeks and he'll be here.  Ten weeks and another bill will pull from the dried up well.  Ten weeks and my pay will be slashed for maternity leave.

I breath deep to fend off the tears threatening to spill.  I'm pulled from my thoughts as the door gushes open and a giggling bouncing two year old flows through.

"Mommy!" she squeals and rushes to my arms.  Clif is behind her carrying a balloon from Chick-fil-A, a stuffed dog and the spilling diaper bag.

"Hi Ainsley!  How are you?  What have you been doing?"

"We goed to da pwaydround at da mall and goed to Tick-fa-aye!"

Clif interjects, "Don't worry, we had a gift card."  He says things like this often, we don't spend money on extras.  We use gift cards and find coupons and attend free events.

I smile as Ainsley pulls away to join her daddy on the couch.  He turns on Sleeping Beauty and they continue with their day, cuddling on the couch watching Ainsley's favorite Disney movie du jour. 

The same day they always have.  Daddy and Ainsley together always.

This post was written in response to a prompt at The Red Dress Club: This week we want you to recall something in your life that seemed terrible at the time, but looking back, brought you something wonderful.

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