I poke my arm out from the comforter, reach behind me, and tap-and-feel the top of the nightstand until I feel the familiar shape of my phone. My fingers curl around the familiar rectangle and I bring it close to my face, squinting, and tap the little part of the screen that quiets the alarm for a few sweet, silent minutes. I should know it by feel but I don’t want to accidentally turn the alarm off so every morning starts with me squinting into a screen.

All set for a few more minutes of solid rest, I snuggle a little deeper under into my comforter. My eyes fly open when I hear a phone ringing like the one from my childhood (or any episode of Mad Men) and scan the room for what caused the noise. It’s not my phone’s ringtone, which means Mr. Brickie is getting a call at 7am. I make a mental note I know I will forget to have him stop changing the rintone because unidentified noises freak me out…especially first thing in the morning.

My eyes find him – a blur pulling on a shirt – and I croak through half-awake lips, “Just answer.” I rub my eyes and make a first-thing-in-the-morning effort to quash the hate I feel toward his habit of trying to figure out who is calling before answering the phone. It’s not a bill collector. Those calls are years in our past but he still acts like the ringing phone holds something awful. He answers in time (thank goodness) and it is work. He starts again tomorrow (Tue. April 28th) at 7am.

Tomorrow is Tuesday and that’s fantastic. The day after is Wednesday, which is my daughter’s doctor appointment he really wanted to be at. We have waited over a month for this appointment and I want him to be there, too. I want the doctor to see the adult version of my daughter. I feel it would inform her decision. Of course I don’t know that for sure because I am not a doctor.

Work means he can’t be there with me. I will have to go alone with my daughter and be her rock with no rock of my own. I am disappointed, sure, but understand this is just the way things are and I am going to have to go through this by myself. It’s okay. He will be there after work to tell what happened. That will have to be enough.

It doesn’t stop my mind feeling tight as a tourniquet.

Everything is going to be alright, sacrifice along the way was always part of the bargain. He doesn’t have a job he can “call off” from. We do not see that as a negative because he gets a giant chunk of winter off to be with us. When the kids have snow days, they spend the day with the whole family.

These are the memories I hold on to when I have to do Very Important Things™ alone.

The big picture is worth it but the fear of the unknown with my daughter is something that scares me deeply. I feel like the teammate making the free throw shot. Sure, I have a team and they have my back but this shot I have to take and make by myself.

Let’s hope it’s nothing but net.

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