Monday, August 20, 2012

The Aftermath

I snapped at both Link and PJ before we got in the car to leave for the party. I don't think I've lost my temper with the boy like that in a long, long time. He cried and Ruby swooped in (of course) to care for him till I loaded them all up.

In the car, after we got gas but before we hit the road, I apologized to all of them. My kids put up with so much from each other, their parents, life... No, they aren't malnourished or beaten or humiliated. But they are caught off guard, confused, worried & beleaguered.  I try to stay calm and even because none of us knows when the next hit is coming. Especially PJ: Her inner battles... I'm sure she feels them, that she feels different, but she has no idea why. Her radical emotional shifts plow through the station like a runaway train, taking her out first and then barrels on to flatten the rest of us. I didn't need to lose control and add to it. But I did.  They all took the apology (I mean, I think Lincoln did) and I was grateful to erase the chalkboard and move on.

In retrospect, I'm sure I was anxious. But it all melted away like butter as soon as we (finally) got to the party. Getting out of our car we met a joyful boy, all hands and fists stuffed into his smile, twirling arms  guided by his parents towards the yard. I felt it instantly. Instant calm and relief. We went in.

Huge bowls of chips on every table, a swing-set, trampoline, in-ground pool, acres of smiling, happy, welcoming faces and a BOUNCE HOUSE. Lincoln took one look at that thing and was gone (Ruby in tow. Again: of course). She kept track of her brother's safety *and* his glasses. Note to self: Secure permanent bounce-house placement in backyard, STAT.

The whole day was a glorious mix of whooshing-wheeing-mmmming, splashy boys in the pool, of whooping-flying-gheeeeing babes in the bouncy house and crunching-chugging-chewing kids at the buffet.

I've mentioned before how much I adore Fragile X dads and Saturday put the icing on that delicious cake. At any given moment you could look in the pool and see an enormous dad with two or three kids hanging off of his arms or being flung like a sling shot. Dads like sentries and cruise directors making sure all the sweet, sweet kids were safe and electrified with fun.

And there were iPads as far as the eye could see; the place was like an Apple store. And at one point I heard the funniest thing yelled from a mother at a party EVER: "Hey! He's going into the pool with the iPad!"

PJ was relaxed. She swam, she changed her clothes a million times without any  help, she ate, she got up and walked to get her own drinks/napkins/snacks, she bounced and she laughed her skinny little self silly.

And my sweet Link was just another boy at a party. I mean, it was a leeetle bit weird when he fell in love with the lawn statue and hugged and kissed it for a good 20 minutes...

We all left content and calm and exhausted.

So why did I crash into bed Sunday night fully dressed? Why did I cry myself into work Monday morning? Why do I still feel so fucking depressed?

This thing is a beast. Going to conferences, parties, events are on the one hand simply awesome and on the other hand brutally devastating. My grief lives. I ache for my babies and as much as I talk the talk and fake it till I make it I am not OK with it. I am not OK.

Is this supposed to happen? Am I supposed to roll back down this bitch of a hill, into the pit and have to claw my way back out over and over and over and over again? For how long? I mean, how many more times (I realize my time in the pit is random)?  Is this totally up to me? Because it feels like it's a surprise every time... Like, is there a certain amount of turns I *have* to take before it ends?

Before we left the party I decided to get into the bounce house with my kids. We four were the only ones in there and I was compelled to do a flip. I started jumping really high, really straight like a stick and I imagined myself up, up up and then curled into a tight, fast ball as I turned. The kids said I executed it perfectly! They were really impressed with my performance! So there was no way I could tell them that when my butt hit, I felt my whole spine compress from my neck to my coccyx and that I bit the sides of my tongue a little. The whole thing was exhilarating and painful... I suppose you can guess where I'm going with that metaphor.


Anonymous said...

You are loved, you know that?

Anonymous said...

The strength you have always had as a mom and with children is something I will always admire <3