Sunday, March 9, 2014

Odd Man Out

I blinked and February was gone.  And I barely had a chance to take a breath and March is already a third over.  How did this happen?  I feel like, in so many ways, that too much has happened to try to write about any of it now; yet really nothing has happened, as well.  The days and weeks pass with the same highs and lows.  The household seems slightly under control and then five seconds later the floors are insanely crumby and filthy; the laundry gets folded and miraculously put away and two days later the piles waiting to be washed and folded are bigger than the couch (how do we get so dirty so quickly???); the mommy plans great activities and has patience to read the same story 85 times in one sitting and then and hour later she's turning on the TV and biting her tongue while counting down the minutes to bedtime and pulling out her hair; I'm content with my older and out of fashion self until I got to school pick up and keep looking over my shoulder for the fashion police who have surely been called in to pick me up.  I'm feeling alright until I go and try to take a deep breath and I can't. 

Little Man and I are reading Harry Potter together.  I love to read with him.  Love it.  It is one of my favorite ways to spend time with him.  We curl up on the couch together under a blanket, we make a pot of tea and each have a special mug, and I read.  And he drives me crazy with his constant wriggling around and interrupting at all the good parts with his interpretations and questions -which I hate and love at the same time-, and we read like crazy fools for hours.  Sometimes Hubs will sit in the recliner next to the couch and I'll rub his feet while I'm reading and he'll listen for about five seconds until he's asleep.  And if Little Lady is awake she's usually bouncing off the walls and trying to sing over my voice, which drives Little Man insane and I'm pretty sure that is why she does it.  But the two of us will sit there and just get lost in a book.  And we'll get up early to read as much as we can before school.  And before bed we'll read until bedtime and then I almost always give in for just one more chapter and he's always staying up too late because neither one of us can put a book down.  It makes my heart happy to read with him. 

We just finished Book Five in the Harry Potter Series.  It has been so long since I've read them all.  It is so fun to rediscover the stories and characters again, and with my boy beside me.  And so interesting to meet the characters again as this new person.  I'm the new person, in case I've lost's late and I'm writing with a tired mind.  But I'm a different person and the perspectives and contexts are all so new.  It makes everything else seem new, too, in a way.  And without trying to sound like a crazy person, I see Jameson and I see my grief in everything.  Songs on the radio, books, anything that hints and sadness, longing, lost love, all gets crammed into my context.  So Harry Potter.  Book Five is where his Godfather dies.  And I find myself reading it and feeling things clicking into place in my head when I read it...which seems slightly ridiculous to me that I'm getting grief support from a fictional kids book, but as mentioned above, I see it everywhere.  Anyway, back to Potter and my entirely obvious and ineloquent feelings.  He's describing how he feels after Sirius dies and he talks about how when he's with people he wished he were alone and when he's alone he wishes he were with people.  And it seems like it's probably one of those emotional "duhs" for most people but I'm all like "yes!, this is me!" while reading it.  I feel rather silly writing this out because it sounds fairly lame as I'm rereading it.  But it seems emotionally important for me to say this.  Because I struggle so much with it.  Before Jameson got sick, I was 100% an extrovert.  I loved meeting new people, loved social gatherings, loved talking, did not like being alone.  And now, I love being alone, except when I'm feeling lonely(what does that even mean???), I totally struggle at social gatherings, and would much rather be wallpaper than take part in group conversations.  Yet, I still do love's just that I can only handle it for so long before I need to be alone again.  I often find myself "rescued" by needing to chase down Little Lady on the playground, even if I really like the person I'm talking with and enjoying the conversation(again, how does that make any sense???).

It can all get so complicated and confusing, this whole life thing.  But tonight, while reading, it just kind of clicked for the umpteenth time at how "other" I tend to feel always.  And it makes me think of how Little Man always, always needs to tell people about how his brother is dead, because I do too.  And I maybe don't want to talk about it, but I have to.  I have to.  It's....hard, complicated, impossible.  Not just the talking about it, but the whole talking to someone and feeling like I have to say it, wondering when it will inevitability have to come up in the conversation, anxiously wondering if I'll get all "ugly cry" or hold it together, and really, which one is worse?  Dreading the reaction, the questions, the pity.  And knowing that even though I'll feel slightly better once it's out there, I'll still feel like I don't quite fit in.  I always feel that way.  I know everyone feels like they don't quite fit in to a certain extent; I do in lots of ways.  But I've made peace with most of the ways I'm a bit different.  Hard to make peace with this one.  

And now my tired brain is getting to the mushy stage, so I'm off to bed.  St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner; it is a special family holiday and a day I try to celebrate my Irish Prince.  Will write more on that soon. 

1 comment:

  1. I happened across your blog via your Facebook page. I am an avid blog reader and blog keeper myself, so I was delighted to see that you, too, enjoy writing. I won't lie, there've been many, many tears shed as I scan through the years of your story. Sure, I might be PMSing (or, fingers crossed, pregnant), but the feelings are there. Fortunately I have never had to endure the pain of losing a child, but through your words I get a small glimpse of how my mom may have felt. She had my brother, Brian, when she was 32. Then she had another baby boy, Derek, when she was around 35. I don't really know the details well, but Derek was a perfectly healthy baby for his first few months, then was diagnosed with a congenital heart problem, had subsequent surgery, and died when he was about 6 months old. I was born a few years later. Growing up, I was aware that I had a brother who died before I was born. Our family was relatively open, and my parents spoke of Derek from time to time. But being a self-centered child, I never really thought about the implications of having a mom who had a child die before I was born. How much that must have shaped her parenting of me. My mom died of breast cancer when I was 19, between my freshman and sophomore years of college. Only when I got pregnant with Francine, and then when she was born, was I so desperate for more information about how my mom fared with losing her baby. I ask my dad about it occasionally, but a dad's recollection is just not the same as a mother's memory. And he and I don't share that experience of being mothers, obviously. I feel like I get a little glimpse, albeit it a very tragic one, when I read your story. Thank you for sharing, not just because it's an honest account of life lived, but also because it is something more concrete than my own imagination and provides insight into my own mom.