32 Days 'Til 40 (Getting Existential With Pop Rocks)

Get ready for the drama.

Today I succumbed to the illness that has overtaken my home.   Like my two kids and husband, I am struggling with the most painful sinus headache I have ever experienced. But unlike every other Morgan under my roof, I don't have a cough nor is my nose drippy. I appear "normal." So when I walked the kids to and from school, I may have seemed a little more irritated than usual, a tad more haggard than most days when I haven't bothered to shower or brush my hair before leaving the house, but I did not exhibit the telltale signs of a bad cold to earn anyone's sympathy. To compensate for such a "normal" facade, I purposely gave a look.

What did that look say?  It said this: "I am precariously teetering on the brink of insanity." Or "I haven't bathed in days so don't get too close." Either way, the street traffic parted like the Red Sea and I had a clear walking path down the avenue.

After unsuccessful attempts to rest and regain my will to live, I dragged my kids to the pharmacy and grocery store. It was time to load up on over the counter drugs and junk food. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I needed to get a nasal decongestant and hamburger buns for dinner. Wait, the nasal decongestant was for me and I wasn't going to serve it with dinner. Just the hamburger buns. With hamburgers, of course. Which I already had at home. (This headache is really getting to me...)

Shopping with my two kids is fun because they love EVERYTHING. This afternoon's offerings included cheap plastic wind chimes, mini donuts with powdered sugar, a glue gun, some sparkly gadget no one could figure out, a gi-normous bag of cheddar cheese goldfish, and a set of steak knives with a cartoon on the handle. I never get angry or impatient; I'm usually amused to see what catches their eye. But I do say, "No, baby. Not today." And in return my kids never get angry because they understand that shopping is an adventure. And sometimes I actually do say yes.

Pop Rocks. Today, my daughter Masana wanted Pop Rocks and I said yes. Here eyes widened and those apple cheeks got brighter when I greenlit her object of desire. After we got home and put away our things, I sat and watched Masana eat her candy. And I started to wax philosophical.

Life is like Pop Rocks. It's shiny, happy, bright-colored packaging on the outside, a promise of fun and excitement. But do the contents live up to the hype?

Nearing the middle of my life, has there been an explosion of flavor or just a lot of noisy distractions?

I think that my headache is now turning me into an existentialist. Or I'm just getting closer to 40. Crisis shall commence in a little over a month, and I'll be eating Pop Rocks in my shiny new sports car...