It has been awhile since I've felt as bad—cranky, depressed, hopeless—as I did on Friday. Maybe it was because I didn't run that morning. Perhaps it was the new moon and/or the storm that was approaching. Most likely, it was the fitful sleep I'd had adding to years of sleep deprivation, the stress of this damn prolonged pandemic, managing my child's chronic condition. Definitely, it was days of taking care of Calvin with no help since last Monday while Michael was/is hard at work. No doubt it was day after day of waking at five, giving meds, changing wet diapers and onsies and bed pads and comforters, my hyperactive and restless child so insistent on me, wiping up the various liquids he drools onto every surface, changing his clothes, putting on and taking off his socks and shoes, clipping his fingernails and toenails, cleaning his ears, brushing his teeth, washing his hair, hoisting him out of the tub, drying him off, leading him to his room, helping him up onto the changing table, giving him countless suppositories, sitting him on the toilet on and off sometimes for over an hour waiting for him to empty his bowels, wiping his butt, walking him around the house and yard, catching him if he starts to fall, watching him seize, getting poked in the eye by errant fists and fingers, being on duty twenty-four-seven, chopping up his food, feeding him all day long in fits and starts, burping him on my knee like a baby, listening to him grouse, repositioning him and covering him umpteen times a night. As I often think and as someone said to me yesterday, our situation with Calvin is impossible. I'm surprised I don't lose my shit more often. I owe that in part to my years of hardcore, painful swimming which nearly broke me at times, but never did. As one of my favorite funny memes says, I'm tired of shit not killing me and only making me stronger.
But when I break down and sob, often my husband is there to receive me and tell me how hard what I do is—the day in and day out of it with little to no help, especially these last years during the pandemic. And then, as I am wont to do, I turn to gratitude to soothe and console me, to help me look up. I ponder the multitude of fortunes I'm graced with, and then I put them down in words so I don't forget:
twilight. screen porch eating. strings of tiny orangey lights. crickets in the grass and bats flying circles in the backyard sky. crickets and birds playing in the background of a song playing loud on a kick-ass stereo. besties and other visitors, impromptu or otherwise. evening strolls through the organic garden out back, drinks in hand. celebrations. togetherness. loving and relating to other people's extraordinary, funny, smart, adorable children. laughter. clowning around. smoke from a waning fire wafting into the house. lovely people who love me without a doubt. cool-to-the-touch leather sofa on a hot, humid night. smellie, lying prone at the opening of the french doors. piano. vocals. guitar. violin. ear-to-ear smiles. feeling myself. being myself. hugs that are like mini massages. realness. dissolving anxiety. pizza in a box. calvin when he's happy, content and calm.
frosty mornings. back road travels. long winding roads with ocean vistas. dense forests and winding trails. windows rolled down letting in the sweet aromas of fresh-cut hay, clover, wild aster. vast fields of corn. bales of hay dotting the hillsides like gnomes. panoramic landscapes of nearly any kind. canada geese. blue herons. goldfinches. catbirds. gnarly trees adorned with peaches and apples. meadows wild as i'd like to be, if only. echinacea. phlox. butterflies and dragonflies and hummingbird moths. the act of cutting the lawn.
making and baking. ice cream cakes. lemon bars. chocolate chip cookies. caramel chocolate oat bars. carrot cake. people who love my gifted sweets. sharp-witted friends and neighbors who get me and with whom i can shoot the shit. beloveds who can cry on my shoulder. others whom i can tell anything for keeps.
running easy. running medium. running with everything i've got for a spell. feeling young(er) and strong. acting like my kid self. dancing in the middle of the kitchen. signing out loud.
And then things feel better, at least for awhile. At least until the next morning at five when I wake to my Calvin and all the impossibilities that he has in store for me, which people not in situations like mine like to say makes me stronger but doesn't kill me.
|2017 same old same old|