This past week was the last week of the semester at school. Classes ran long, finals loom. By Monday, I need to know where all the bones go, how to use a blood pressure cuff and be able to list the physiological benefits of weight training.

Wednesday  brought us to the frantic search for a tree stand and a tree we could afford to put inside it. For the first time tonight, I strung the lights all by myself. It’s a beautiful tree. On it’s branches hang ornaments my children labored over every year since kindergarten. They are mixed up with with crystal sleighs, and blown glass icicles I bought before I found myself inside  a life with kids and animals.

There were conversations with my kids about what happened in Connecticut.

In the middle of it all- the amazing, the time consuming and the tragic; on Tuesday afternoon hives sprouted on my body. Red welts along my back, inside my arms, on my ankles.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday, she told me I was having an allergic reaction. She gave me steroids, and suggested benedryl and oatmeal baths.

I still have the bumps. But now the drugs I’m on to get rid of them are keeping me awake.

I’ve got time now to study, sweep up pine needles, catch up on Thirty Rock.

I want to sleep. I need to go to church tomorrow. I need to study the endocrine system tomorrow. I need to stop by my friend’s house and decorate gingerbread men with my daughter tomorrow.

Instead my body is telling me to write a novel while I scratch the back of my left knee.

My brain needs some undivided attention.

And my heart, it beats. It carries me along. It sends me up the stairs to watch my kids asleep.

So I’m a little itchy and awake.

Tomorrow when I’m spent and sleepy, someone will tuck me in while another wipes me down with Benadryl. The people that  I love will carry me.

Tonight, the world doesn’t make much sense to me.
Our corner of the world has a Christmas tree with a crooked angel that opens and closes her arms, not enough lights and tinsel that seems to end up on the floor. Two kids are upstairs sleeping. Sophie the Wondrous and the Magical Dog is staring out the window, waiting for the return of Michael, the Delightful, Disappearing Cat. The dishwasher hums, the radiators rattle, the keyboard clicks.
My world makes sense tonight if I fill my mind with the noises here, right around me. For this, I know I am supremely blessed.
I want to offer prayers, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Hugs, oh my God, hugs? I want to fold the whole wide world inside my arms and have it all make sense and wake up tomorrow to a place where it all does. Make sense.
So tonight, I will pray. Tonight, many, many of us will pray, though some may call it something else.
Tomorrow we will wake up and watch the news, have difficult conversations with our children, shop, wrap, grieve.
And tomorrow night, we will pray again.
Until the night we forget because we are tired, or tipsy, or lost.
Or until the night, the prayers are heard.
We’ll see.
Tonight, the world doesn’t make much sense to me.