Do you guys know what? I’m liking the Emerson family more and more. They’re so much fun to hang out with! And yes, I do realize that in reality they are a figment of my imagination. And yes, I do realize that I’m the one who writes their story. And yes, I do realize that I don’t really get to hang out with them. But. I do get to go back and read about their lives a couple days (or weeks) after I write it, and goodness, it’s kinda like hanging out with them!
I’m giving y’all an extra long episode of my fictional story, When Life Hands You Lymes, today, because I’ve gotten some encouragement from you people recently about how much you like it and I figured hey, today can be special! Y’all know this hasn’t been an easy story for me to write, but it’s so worth it. And, I love it when the family interacts together. 🙂
I hope y’all enjoy week 28 and as always, I’d be delighted to hear some feedback!
“There’s a new gym opening in town.” Katie walked into the room and set her computer case down on a side table then leaned against the wall.
Mom stopped the sewing machine and nodded, “I got a flyer about a fitness program they’re running.” She lifted the foot off the machine and looked at her seam, squinting. “I thought it would be fun if we three girls went together.”
“That would be cool.” I tried to hide a smile, Mom had been inspired by the cute tote bag Abbie made me and that had thrown her into a sewing craze. She had been pretty good at sewing when she was younger, but I couldn’t remember the last time she’d done more than fix a loose button.
“Stop laughing at me.” Mom didn’t even look up from her crooked stitches.
“Laughing? Who, me?”
“Do you realize Maddie will have to have a doctors signature before she can take part in the program because she’s under eighteen?” Ever the serious one, Katie brought back the original subject.
“I actually already scheduled the appointment.” Mom grimaced at me. “Sorry I forgot to tell you, Madds. It’s been a while since you’ve been to the doctor anyway.”
I’ve never been one of those people who abhor doctor’s offices. I mean after all, it’s a chance to meet new people, right? I even begged for braces when I was 12 because I thought of all the extra visiting I could get in while sitting on the orthodontists chair. Perfect teeth and braces don’t go together though, so I was refused. Oh well. I spent the next six months of my life envying all the crooked-teeth friends I knew.
Mom had a determined look on her face as she began ripping out her seam. “Maybe they can shed some light onto why you’ve been so tired recently.”
“It’s a hot summer.” I shrugged. “I’m guessing that’s it.”
Katie gave me a duh look. “Right, because everyone else has been sleeping in each morning and going to bed earlier, just like you.” Pointing a finger at me, she shook her head, “And why aren’t you up practicing your music?”
“I’m visiting with Mom.”
“Why don’t you come to the doctor, too, Katie?” Mom tapped her phone, “It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m pretty sure they could squeeze you in.”
“Why would I go to the doctor?”
“Just a check up to make sure everything’s going fine. The fitness program recommends everyone gets a check up, it just requires it for the minors.”
Katie still looked undecided.
“I have an appointment, too.”
As I lay in bed that night, I had an uncomfortable feeling come over me when I recalled what Katie had said about me and my lack of energy. Sure, what I said was true. I had enjoyed hanging out with Mom. And with Chad the day before. And Julia the day before that. But when had I gotten in my hours of practice I’d been planning on during the summer? It seemed like every time I went up to play music, my eyes grew heavy and my fingers thick. I wasn’t used to being so unproductive. And I wasn’t enjoying it.
The next morning I woke up with renewed energy. That was the weird part, one day I would be tired, the next day I would be totally fine. Which is why I was sure it was just the weather or some weirdness like that.
Barely taking the time to get ready for the day properly, I headed to my music room and began with my violin. I knew I needed to spend extra time with Reagan (that’s my violin, by the way) since I was going to be in the Ashburg Symphony. Simply knowing I was going to get to perform there made the open strings practice a cinch, even though I didn’t normally enjoy that part of practice. After about 45 minutes, I moved on to the piece I’d been trying to memorize. The soft whine of the music as it washed over me made me close my eyes and savor the moment. Being a musician could be the most heart-wrenching, annoying thing in life, or it could be the sweetest gift. Right now was one of the “sweetest gift” moments, and I wished I knew how to make it last forever. It was as if all my worries and difficulties disappeared and I felt total peace sweep over me, making me glad to be alive.
Straying from the music I was practicing, I just let my fingers do their own thing and dredge up pieces I remembered from long ago. The ones that reminded me of the happy times I’d had. The ones that reminded me of sibling times. The ones that made me smile. When I played those pieces, I was no longer worried about how well I would perform in public. I was no longer concerned about how I fit in with Emerson Airlines, I was just me. A me who was content to just be and to relax. Who didn’t have to try and achieve. Who didn’t need to figure out a way to measure up to Katie. And Mom. And the rest of my family.
“Maddie, are you coming for breakfast?” Katie was standing in the doorway, smiling when I looked up after who knows how long.
“Is it breakfast time already?”
“Past. I figured you were sleeping again.”
I waited for a lecture to come about being late for a meal, but when none poured forth, I set Reagan into her case and gave Katie a quick hug. “Good morning to you, too.”
“Beautiful music, by the way.” Katie pulled the door to my room shut behind her as we headed down the stairs. “When are you going to make a CD so other’s can enjoy it?”
I grinned at the praise. “It’s not nearly good enough yet.”
“Piissh.” Katie waved her hand in front of her face. “Don’t give me that ‘perfectionist’ speech. We all know you’re not really a perfectionist at heart.”
“I might not be as ardent a one as you are, but I do have my tendencies to lean that way.” Sitting on the banister of the staircase, I slid the rest of the way down.
Katie followed behind me, her arms crossed. “Don’t think you can impress me into agreeing with you by using big words. And see, you sliding down the banister proves my point.”
“It does, how?”
Katie shook her head at me. “Do you really think a perfectionist would do that?”
“Why wouldn’t they?” I smiled at Carter who was taking a try of food into the breakfast dinning room. “Good morning, Carter.”
“Good morning, Madalyn.” Carter nodded at Katie. “Looks like you’ve got your sisters feathers ruffled.”
“Good morning, Carter.” Katie gave him a sweet smile that she reserves for people she feels especially close to. “And no, it wasn’t Madalyn who has my feathers ruffled. It was the fact that I can’t figure out the logic behind a statement I just made and it’s disconcerting.”
“Now look who’s using big words.” I opened the door to the dinning room.
“I use big words on a regular basis,” Katie’s tone implied I was being childish. “Not simply to impress my older sister while trying to win an argument.”
“We weren’t arguing, were we?” I sat down. “And besides, your point is void because you don’t have an older sister.”
“Sounds like I don’t want to be a part of this.” Darrick tossed both Katie and I apples. “Heads up.”
Katie barely looked up in time to catch hers.
“Did you know that Robin Hood used to have his kid throw apples up in the air and then he would shoot an arrow though them?” Darrick examined an apple, “I think I’d rather just eat it.”
“Robin Hood?” Mom and Dad had been talking, but Darrick had gotten Dad’s attention. “Don’t you mean William Tell?”
Darrick crunched into the apple. “That does sound like it might fit better.”
“Nice job changing the subject,” I whispered after another conversation was going on.
“Brother With Sisters Skills Point 4, Learn how and when to effectively redirect conversations.”
“I must have missed seeing that book.”
“For brothers only. We don’t want sisters learning all of our secrets.”
“Ah.” Not for the first time, I wished all my friends could have friendships with their siblings like I had with mine.