Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The haves and have nots

Ahhhhhh. I'm sitting alone in my office with the (finally) cool breeze bringing in the earthy smell of new rain and damp pavement, and it's just so peaceful. If it weren't for the fact that I'm sitting in the office because I have a ton of work still left to do tonight, it would be perfection.

Except for the odd rumble of thunder and the chirp of spring birds, it's quiet. So, so blissfully quiet. I suppose the fact that it's nearly 8:00pm on a weeknight is part of the reason. All the little ones who are usually out in the street playing during the day are, I presume, getting read their bedtimes stories right about now. Snug in their jammies, fresh from the bath.

But it was a little less quiet a few minutes ago. The unmistakable sound of a most excellently delivered tantrum, Oscar-worthy in fact, came pealing in through the open window along with the evening  breeze.

I stood at the screen listening to the fracas - sobs, angry screams, and "daddeeeee, daddeeeee, dadeeeeeeeee!!!" - and breathed a sight of relief as I turned to sit back down at the computer.

I sighed. I sighed because it's not me trying to cope with a 3 year-old who has just copped an, "I don't want to go to bed and you can't make me" attitude. I sighed because tonight my only responsibility, other than getting cat food and picking up My Beloved at the train, is to myself. I sighed because right now it seems easier to be me than them. 

It was a happy sigh. And kind of a relieved one.

And this is a startling turn of events. Easier to be me than them? Huh?!

I don't know if this is some sort of a self defense mechanism at work, or just that magical ability humans have to adapt and accept and push on. But this has been happening quite a bit lately. I just haven't wanted to admit it because it seems, well, wrong. In fact it seems all kinds of wrong to be seeing the silver lining in such a dark and awful sky, doesn't it? I mean seriously, doesn't it??

I've become so accustomed to focusing on the negative - on what's missing -  that it seems wrong to, every once in a while, actually be happy with my life. Just the way it is.

Not that it's wrong to be happy, but wrong to be happy about this.

This can't be right, can it? Is this even allowed?!

I'm not happy that my son is dead and I miscarried his four siblings. But sometimes I'm incredibly happy with the peaceful life we've managed to carve out since, and sometimes that happiness is directly related to the stress I know we don't - and will never have to - endure. Like bedtime tantrums, for example. Hell, any kind of tantrums. And messes too, dirty diapers included.

Of course it goes without saying that I would trade in all my new-found peace to have Thomas back. In a heartbeat. But since that isn't an option, I'm going to try to stop feeling guilty for enjoying the things our live has given us, even if we have them because of what was taken away.


Polka Dot said...

I do the same thing sometimes. In the sore, at a park, just about anywhere. A toddler has a fit, vomits all over the place, etc ... and I sometimes find myself glad that I don't have to deal with it. And not to mention being able to go out - when and where - we want without scheduling and packing and all that comes with it.

I, too, would happily take it all on if it meant our daughter could be with us. But until the time comes (if it ever does) that we bring a child into the family, I've learned to sometimes be glad for the quiet.

Mrs. Spit said...

The hair shirt gets uncomfortable, doesn't it?

loribeth said...

Yep. And I love how parents try to MAKE you feel guilty about it sometimes too...!!

Catherine said...

There are some realizations that hit you (when you least expect them) that would be offensive if suggested by someone else. It's just the way of it, I think.

The other night, as we lay in the dark, I said to Steve, "Honestly, we'd have been terrible parents to three kids...we're barely able to handle the two we have. And the money we're saving..." He agreed. And then neither of us said anything for a good long while.

Like I's just the way of it. Finding your own silver lining is absolutely allowed. It doesn't take away the sadness...but it mitigates it some.

Anonymous said...

Peace is good.

justine said...

I don't know if I believe in God, but there does seem to be some crazy karmic balance at work in the universe. And while the grief and pain doesn't make any sense, the peace does. Hope your Dad is home soon.