normal: the final frontier

Today I am embarking on our last little journey in the return to normal. After our rather awful winter, it has been small steps in the return to life as we used to know it. Our own definition of “normal.” We’ve done most things. For instance, I do my own grocery shopping (mostly–thank you Meijer Grocery Express), I do our laundry (again, mostly–thank you, Mom), I clean (mostly–thank you, Dad!), and I, in general, am the mom of the house again. It feels good.

But there was one thing remaining. The final frontier. Sides of the bed.

When Mark and I got married, we prided ourselves in switching sides of the bed. No predictable roles for us. We were going to do things differently. Our switching sides of the bed periodically was our claim to an egalitarian marriage somehow. And we were a little smug.

That lasted about a year.

For the 13 of the last 14 1/2 years of marriage, we had firmly encamped on our respective sides of the bed. Until Birdie and my pleural drain entered the family at about the same time.

My pleural drain bag had to hang on the side of the bed and its placement in my back necessitated which side I could best sleep on. Add to this a nipping puppy who also slept by the side of the bed and certain arrangements had to be made. We had to switch sides of the bed or something really ugly could have happened.

For those of you who have slept on a specific side of the bed for years, you know how disconcerting it can be to switch. Sure, you can sleep, but something just doesn’t feel right. Are the sheets scratchier on this side? Why can’t I throw my leg out over the covers the right way? Why is that light right in my eyes? This is how it has been for us for the last eight months.

Today, however, confident that my drain-free days will continue, Mark and I are going back to our sides of the bed. I will have my lamp and my alarm clock (nevermind that they are identical). Mark will have his power cord for his phone. We will both feel a little more normal pulling the covers up and rolling over.

Oh, little normal things of life, how I love you!

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