Monday, August 11, 2008

just as things settle down

I'm unsure where I am these days. Some days I feel like we have a routine and we're hitting our stride - like things are settling down and we're beginning to see what normal will be like for the next little bit. Then we have days like yesterday and today, where getting Gus to sleep is a fight, where doing nearly everything is a fight, and the exhaustion creeps up and knocks me down when I'm not expecting it. I'm short with Dave, I'm short with the pets, and though I try not to be - I know I'm short with the baby.

We made it through those first few months on less than 2 hours of sleep at a time. We did this while also mourning Paul, while adjusting to new mama- and papa-hood. We also hosted friends and family on a near daily basis. I don't know how we did it. I look back now and those days are blurry, caught in a fog of half sleep. I don't remember being so sad all the time, then. Maybe I was and I just don't remember it. Or maybe the hormones and the bliss of that little babe soaked up some of the grief so it wasn't so powerful. Each time we mark another month for Gus (he'll be 5 months next week) we also mark another month since Paul died. I hope that I won't spend the rest of my life thinking about Paul each time I think about the birth of August, but for now - at least for the first half of this year - it's impossible to escape.

It ebbs and flows, there's high times and low times. I guess this is one of the low times. I know that no one would say this is supposed to be easy. I know that raising a kid is work, and that work is never done. I can't help but feel guilty when in one minute I'm cursing Paul for being gone - thinking of how much easier it would be to deal with Gus if I didn't have the weight of the grief - and in the next minute cursing Gus - thinking of how much easier it would be to grieve if I didn't have to be playful and happy for baby. It's not fair either way, and I feel awful each time one of those thoughts flits through.

I try to remember to take it one day at a time. To not let little things get under my skin. I try to remember that the most important thing is that we have each other, our little family of 3, and that together we can get through some pretty tough shit. It's hard to see clearly, to guess what's next. It's easier to be sullen and quiet, to spend most of my time in my head.

I know that I don't call friends. I've become terrible about returning calls. I suppose I should be better - but the truth is that I don't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I assume they think I'm busy with the baby, busy doing baby-n-me classes or whatever it is that new mommas are supposed to do. It's hard to see people, to go places. It's hard to be happy when you feel like hiding under the covers. It's even worse to go out with friends and realize you're the one talking about death and writing a will, when everyone else just wants to talk about the new Batman movie. It's embarrassing, it makes me self conscious. I don't want to be the morbid one who can't get over it - so I just stay in. Don't answer the phone, don't even listen to the messages. There's fewer and fewer calls anyway, so at least I can feel a little less guilty about that.

The baby continues to be the ray of sunshine, even on hard days. He's so bright eyed and happy most of the time, he's just a delight. He keeps me sane, keeps me moving. It sucks to be away from him, I feel a little bit at sea. More and more I have to let go, though. I'm going to be working more, and I think that's a good thing. I have a hard time letting go, letting Dave take him and have fun with him without me. The more I'm at work, the more they'll have a chance to play together and develop their own schedule and routine. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time, right? I'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

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