Saturday, May 28, 2016

Good Friday, a.k.a When The World Goes Dark, a.k.a. Don't do Anything to Upset the Pregnant Lady...

This post is an oldie, that I wrote and clearly couldn't press the publish button on.  But fast forward to now, where the newborn is now almost two months old, and little windows have opened all around that door that slammed shut in our faces, that prompted this post.  Hopefully soon I will write about those windows, and the little slivers of light that are shining in.


How do I even start this?  Perhaps in the middle.

Once upon a time in the middle of everything, there was a family.  Things seemed to be falling into place- the mom got a great job with good hours, the dad had a regular old job with additional opportunities that seemed to present great possibilities, and so they did what every normal person does and got pregnant and bought a house.

Fast forward to now, where I'm 38 weeks pregnant, two weeks shy of entering my maternity leave (OMG just get me off work already!).  Things seem to be going great for R- he's had multiple opportunities to work with a production company doing filming, and it seems like things are starting to fall into place.

And then R loses his day job.  The bread and butter, the steady half of our income.

We find out on Good Friday.  Ryan finds out first, of course, and then tries to pick a good time to tell me about this- before our doctor appointment?  After?  Maybe when we're cuddled up on the bed with our three year old?  Regardless of when he tells me, the bomb gets dropped.

I react without feeling.  I'm all logic.  What can we cut back on?  Should I cut maternity leave short?  Ask to go to 40 hours a week when I get back to work (Oh, God).  See if I can go back to night shift on my old unit?  What can we sell, and we should work on his resume, and babe, I'm so sorry...

Then I tell a friend what happened, and I lose it.

Maybe it's appropriate that terrible things happen on Good Friday.  Maybe it can bring me closer to the darkness that enveloped everything when Jesus died.   Because all I feel is hopeless and lost, but I still put on makeup and try to dress my engorged body with clothes that make me feel cute, and I go hear my father-in-law preach because maybe his words will convey some sort of hope I can grasp on to, that will help me stay afloat for a little while longer.

Hubby holds me as I cry, and cry, and cry again.  He's the one that took the blow but I'm the one who expresses the pain.  He knows how to hold the pain in, to exist in a world where he's hurting but can still be present in the moment.  I'm the one who's outside always has to match my inside.  Trying to separate the two means that the tears come that much easier.

So there's lots of things to figure out.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The ways daughters are like their mothers.

I asked Ryan the other day if there was anything about Aubrey that reminded him of Amanda. 

"Her clumsiness," he said after a moment. 

"And her smile."


When I was a child my mother would often ask me to call the family in for dinner. Our house was like one cavernous room, with all of the other rooms along its perimeter. My father was often tucked away in his office up on the second floor. My brother often hidden away in his room. 

So I did the most expedient thing I could think of. I just yelled "DINNER TIME" at the top of my lungs and then calmly went back to what I was doing.   This drove my mother nuts. 

Several times over the past few weeks I've told Aubrey to tell Ryan it was dinner time. Both times she yelled "DADDY!!  DINNER!!" at the top of her lungs. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thoughts that keep me up at night.

All I want to do is remember the way she looked at me when I took her shoes off for bed. I've seen her look like that at her father plenty of times, but this is the first time for me, I think.

I've known A all of her life- I met her mother when she was pregnant with A. Pregnant but not really showing. One of my first and most clearest memories of her mother is from those early days- sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast (this was back when she still had a fair amount of control over her movements).  Her thick hair up and off her neck, a sense of the color yellow, the sun shining in, and a huge smile as Dean, her father-in-law - now my father -in- law - leaned over to tease her.

I remember A in the hospital- this small, wrinkly thing who was forever sneaking out of her diapers when the nurses weren't looking.

Now she's this fiery little ball of sunshine and in a month I will officially be her mom.

How can I explain what this even means, or feels like? In the past month things have shifted, and now being her mom has gone from theoretical to actual. To fact. As sure and certain as the stars in the sky, even though I am dark where she is light, angular where she is round I am her mother.

And the way she looked at me when I pulled her shoes from her feet. I have tried to capture that smile so many times, to hold it forever, because in it are all the things that mean she feels safe, and loved.

I feel guilty because I am the one that stepped into the gap my friend left. I am living the life that she couldn't have. How can one be so sad and yet so grateful? That the two people she loved the most were not forever adrift- that her husband did not sink under the absence of her, that her daughter did not know what it was like to be motherless.

that her daughter will have dance parties in the kitchen and someone to sing her to sleep, that her husband will have a wife who loved her too. that I will love these people put into my keeping

And say, every day, thank you.