Recently, our household has had more than its fair share of bad luck. It all started in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Our daughter arrived home from Buffalo State College ready to start her Christmas break and enjoy a much-deserved vacation from school, only to wake up with swollen eyes. She had no other symptoms – just swollen, puffy eyes. We tried all the regular at-home remedies: cold cloths, benadryl (in case it was allergies), and even a cucumber for her eyes (which ended up tasting great in a salad instead). She had to take steroids for two weeks plus antibiotics for what ended up being a prolonged sinus infection.

That, however, was just the start of things.

The morning Kira woke up with her eyes swollen, Dave took Parker to school and the van overheated. It ended up in the shop, in need of a new water pump. A typically simple (but expensive) repair got complicated when the parts store could not locate the right part – not just once, but two, then three, then four times. Our van (which took $425 to fix a week before Christmas) was in the shop for a week.

But, that was still only the start of it all.

While Kira had swollen eyes and the car was in the shop, I developed a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. Not one but two trips to the emergency room were required, along with follow up visits to the ENT and the family doctor, all with Kira (swollen eyes and all) providing all the transportation since, yep, the van was still in the shop.

At the same time, the weather dropped into the 20s. Typically, if we’re without a car, we can walk wherever we need to go in our small village. But this particular week we had dance lessons, a choir concert, and last-minute holiday shopping to be done. Thank goodness for Kira’s willingness to loan her car, make two trips to the school to get us all to the concert, and help transport her little sister to dance class – all with swollen eyes.

As if that wasn’t all, during all of this, Dave was giving the dogs a much-needed bath and in the ensuing wrestling, managed to injure himself seriously enough to make surgery a real possibility, and Anika got a high fever and spent a couple of days home in bed.

I kept telling myself things would get better. And by Christmas, things were. Kira’s eyes were on the mend; the car was back from the shop; my nose issue was well under control. The kids were healthy. Dave’s doctor thought he would heal on his own and would not need surgery. Christmas was lovely.

Now, less than a month after Christmas, I’m wondering if perhaps I should claim that new Zodiac sign and maybe change my luck. As I write this, Parker is sitting in the recliner, home from school with a fever and sinus infection. Anika is laying on the sofa next to me with a fever and the flu. Dave is sitting on the sofa on the other side of me with a fever and an appointment to see the doctor and schedule that surgery we hoped we’d avoided. And I have to package up my laptop and send it back to the manufacturer because it is malfunctioning and be without it for two weeks. A migraine is developing, I’m sure of it.

Yet it’s these moments – when everything is topsy turvy and nothing is going the way I expected it would – that I look around and feel so grateful. Ironic, I suppose, but I think back to when I worked in the corporate world and how much more difficult it would be to do and be all the things I will need to in the coming weeks if I still had an atrocious boss (the kind I seem to attract) to answer to.

Things will look up – and until then, I’ll gather my babies close to me and help them feel better and be grateful to have such a flexible work schedule that the real priorities in my life can be right at the top where they deserve to be.