I did yard work. My neighbor offered to call the paramedics.

I did yard work on Sunday.

I haven’t known how to tell you, because I feel like I betrayed us all.

After all, I did yardwork on Sunday, friends. YARD WORK.

But before you tell me how disappointed you are in me — before you reprimand me for acting like I have my poo together — allow me to explain that the circumstances were extreme.


Not only had I not done my annual one day of half-assed yard work yet this year, I also had a kid vomiting buckets. And by “vomiting buckets,” I don’t actually mean into buckets. Nope. No buckets. No buckets at all. In fact, had there been any buckets, my kid would have missed them all. Or rather, he vomited into buckets if, by “buckets,” we mean on himself, on his mama, on the bathroom floor, cascading down the shower door, on the rug, on the pile of clothes in the bathroom, and dripping off the edge of the toilet seat. Not into the toilet, of course; that would be too much like making it into a bucket. It was Vomit Fest 2015, in other words, and the kid went three hours straight.

Three hours straight of Vomit Fest 2015, timed from 15 minutes after my dear, darling husband left our house to five minutes before Greg returned. Greg missed the entire thing, which frankly didn’t bother me while I was cleaning all the vomit up, because I am a CHAMPION VOMIT CLEANER and we all have to live into our areas of giftedness, but did send me for a little loop the 100 or so times I had to explain to my baby why I wasn’t taking him to the hospital even though he kept begging to go.

“Take me to the hospital, Mom,” he’d whisper, weeping, and I’d have to whisper back, “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry.”

“No, mom. Really. I’m actually dying,” he’d say, and I’d have to say, “I know it feels like that, baby.”

“Why won’t you help me?” he’d ask pitifully and repeatedly, and I will tell you, by the time Greg got home, I was emotionally spent. Done. Finished. Complete.

“The kid’s all yours,” I told Greg, “I’m tapping out, man.” And so I went outside to do yardwork.

YARDWORK. That’s how much I needed emotional respite.

Of course, the kid went immediately to sleep as soon as dad was there. Figures. But I borrowed HUGE ASS electric hedge trimmers, and I trimmed the hell out of my hedges. It felt RAD.

I think I was outside five minutes working on my yard when my neighbor rushed from his house, ran over to me, pressed a cold beer from his hands to mine, and said, panic raw in his voice, “Don’t worry about a thing, Beth; I’ve already called the paramedics. They’re on their way. They’ll be here soon,” and then he fanned me with his hands because he assumed I felt faint. Which I appreciated because, after all, me doing yard work really was indicative of a larger medical problem, and it’s nice to know someone takes these things seriously.

In conclusion, my front yard has moved from a general Abandoned / Haunted House vibe to more of Well, At Least She Tried.

Success, and other words. Total success.

With love,





P.S. This post is part of my “paragraph a day” this week. It’s been good to hang out with you more, friends. I especially adore your responses on “On the Things I Don’t Tell You.” Thank you for sharing your real selves with me. You’re amazing.

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6 responses to “I did yard work. My neighbor offered to call the paramedics.”

  1. I wanna live next door to your neighbors, too. They seem to have a ready stash of cold beers and a rockin’ sense of humor…

  2. Neighbors watch out for each other. I’m sure if you ever see me doing something wildly out of character, like installing a satellite dish so I could get more sports channels, you’d do the same.

    Also, as your neighbors, we really appreciate your pretty pajama bottoms.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I love to read about real mums in real situations having real reactions – I always feel more normal after reading your posts. Thank you for sharing so I know that I’m not the only one! 🙂

  4. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

    I, on the other hand, scrubbed my baseboards. With a Magic Eraser. On my day off. I have no excuse. I need help.
    (And admitting that you have a problem is the first step, right? Right?)

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