12.17.2012

And still it was awful.


Last night before bed:
"This weekend was kind of awful."
"It was awful."
"Even though we tried!"
"We did try. We tried so hard."

Then we rolled over and turned out the lights and fell asleep until the baby cried again and we stumbled around changing his diaper and feeding him and hoping the velcro on his sleep sac didn't wake him when we put him down. 

Maybe it was the irregular schedule over the past week, two nights with babysitters and his first overnight trip to my parents' house. Maybe he sensed my mini-breakdown Saturday night, away from Chris and our normal routines and the normal place we keep the diapers. Or maybe he's a baby and he was just pissed.

All day Sunday we rocked, we swayed, we changed his diaper, we tried to burp him, we sang songs, we took him on a walk. We did all the things you're supposed to do and still it was awful.

*

In the background, it was a weekend of horror. I have barely watched any of the news about Newtown because I can't emotionally go there right now. My mom texted me that the memorial service was starting last night and I turned it on, heard three beats of the piano playing the prelude and turned it off right again. 

I don't know what to do with Friday's events. I don't know how you can put all this work into parenting, all this intention into your family, all this energy into loving and someone can steal everything away in four seconds. I can't think about it for too long or I will fall right over and be unable to stand upright for weeks. 

I've been to Newtown; I have friends from there. Newtown is your town and it's my town and it's every small, sweet place on the planet. They do all the things you're supposed to do there and this weekend it was awful, awful, horribly awful.

*

This complex, blurry space is what parenting is to me. You are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to raise this tiny boy AND you are resentful that you have done nothing for yourself in three days AND you know others are so much less fortunate AND your boobs hurt because they're backed up. Acknowledging gratitude while mourning a life you used to know… it's messy. But I have never been one to see the world in black and white and in this way, parenting is literature. It's black and white and gray and fuzzy and swirly and when you are ready to break, your son grins at you and suddenly you can hold on another five minutes. And when you get too big for your britches and think you can bake cookies AND visit Santa AND spend quality time with your family in the same day, reality swoops in and reminds you that you can't do it all. Not even close. 

So that's where we're at. It was an awful weekend, but it was beautiful too, and I suspect it will keep being awful and beautiful over and over again for the rest of our lives.

1 comment:

Daffodil Campbell said...

The beginning of parenthood, for me, is wrapped in a cocoon. The fatigue, emotion, and stress left me feeling like I was in a dream. Everything was upended. I missed showering when I woke up. I missed drinking tea while it was still hot. I missed leaving the house with just my wallet tucked in a pocket.

It will be terrible and fantastic - great extremes from one minute to the next - for quite a while. And then it goes back to regular, predictable life - it will never go back to be the same as it was, but it will be a new normal. xo