Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Two lives

I feel like I've lived two complete, separate lives somehow. One before Thomas and one after.

This afternoon on my way to the car with a cart full of groceries, I watched a Mommy putting her little boy in the seat of her shopping cart. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and he was decked out in what I'm sure was new spring outfit, complete with a little white hat. I think he was probably about the same age Thomas would be right now.

Seeing that little boy on this beautiful spring day reminded me of something I'd completely forgotten. On one of our last shopping trips before Thomas was born, I picked up a cute little spring hat for him. In retrospect I now know it would likely have been too big for him to wear last spring, but it would be fitting him about now, I think.

I'd forgotten all about it.

I had all his little hats and socks and scratch mittens in the small top drawer of his change table/dresser, the drawer where I've now got all my craft stickers instead.

I can't remember what his little spring hat looked like anymore. I think it was blue - and maybe reversible - but I just can't quite remember. I guess that's because it belongs to my old life. It belongs to a time I can hardly even fathom existed.

It's a strange feeling when the two lives collide like they did this afternoon. It makes me feel sad, yes, but also unsettled and oddly confused. I'm not sure what this new life holds for me and it's like I'm wandering blindly through it without a map or a compass. I knew what to do in my old life and I knew where I was going. I was pregnant and I was going to be a mother. The end. But I don't quite know what to do in this post-Thomas life, and I have no idea where it's taking me.

Is it insane that I still haven't figured this out?

I mean, I'm sure that most people are uncertain about where life is taking them - and God knows you can plan right down to the tiniest detail and not have one single thing work out according to spec - but really, I'd have thought that by now I'd be feeling more sure of where I was headed.

I'm sure of some things - things like My Beloved. But I'm not really sure of much else.

I know I could look on this as an opportunity to embrace something new - to try new things, to see what really is out there beyond what I've always known and done.

It's just that it's easier said than done.

I suppose if I wasn't in baby-making limbo it would be a little easier. If I knew we were going to be unable to have another biological child I could make plans. We would, most certainly, adopt. But we don't know if another child of our own is in the cards for us or not. And so I'm kind of stuck in a bit of a rut. I can't move forward with my life because I don't know if or when I'll be carrying a second one with me. I can't make any plans. I'm waiting for them to make me.

I certainly don't mean that another child would be a burden - far, far from it. The problem is that I can't work up the motivation to dive headlong into something that I know is merely plan B. I'm still hanging on to the dream of plan A.

Which leaves me...where?

Planting seeds and planning my garden and doing Weight Watchers and being a wife. I guess that's where it leaves me. Which isn't so bad - I'm not complaining.

It's just not where I thought I'd be. And I just can't let go of that. My old life, while sometimes just a hazy memory, is the life that feels like it makes sense. It's the comfortable one - the safe and happy one. It's the one I planned on. You meet someone, you get married, you have a family. Period. That's the way it works, right?

This life is just confusing and scary and strange. I'm not used to it yet, even after a year. It's not bad, per say ( although there are definitely bad aspects - like being without Thomas) it's just not what I wanted. I didn't plan to be sad. I didn't plan to fight my way through every single day, ducking from sorrow as it ambushes me right, left and centre. I didn't plan on re-learning how to live as me.

I try really hard not to whine about my life (despite appearances to the contrary, like this long and whiny post) because this is what I've got. This is the hand I was dealt and I can't think of anything worse than spending the rest of my life as a professional pity-monger, wallowing in woe-is-me.

But on the days when my lives collide and I realize how much I resent having to work so hard at this new one, on those days I wallow. I admit it.

Just ignore me. The girl who is so proud of her little seedlings will return shortly. She's just taking a break.


kate said...

(((((((hugs)))))) Not ignoring you, hun -- we all have days where we *need* to wallow, and it is okay. And none of this makes 'sense' -- how could it? But still we carry our sorrow and walk on...sigh. Hope tomorrow is gentler for you.

Sherry said...

In complete agreement with everything you said! I never expected this kind of grief leave me so confused, but on most days that's how I feel.

In my heart of hearts, I just know that you'll regain your footing and your direction in life will be made very clear. Your search will be over - with a very happy ending. (((HUGS)))