Thursday, November 08, 2018

Alone together

I have many heavy things to write about so first I will write about some lighter matters. Actually, it will probably be a mix of heavy and light because I tried to jump right to the funny bits but I couldn't do it. I'm so, so deeply sad. I was grasping at words for this sadness—it's bereavement, isn't it? That's the only word that encompasses these feelings.

I am so ridiculous that I made Andrew keep a light on when we went to bed last night because I just needed the light on whenever I opened my eyes. But also I can't sleep with the lights on so I wore a sleeping mask so that it would be dark enough to sleep, but so that all I had to do to be in the light again was to lift the mask.

I'm not a complicated person at all. Why do you ask?

Tears seem unstoppable in the dark.

I'm so very lonely, you see. The house is so quiet, so very empty. I'm not used to being the only adult around. I'm used to chatting with Karen during the day. I'm used to setting Alexander down to accomplish a task (laundry, cooking, dishes, whatever) and having him crawl off to find Grandma because—lucky boy that he is—he knew that if Momma wouldn't hold him that Grandma would. It was very helpful for me and those two were as thick as thieves, Alexander and Grandma.

The house has felt like it's swallowing me so I've been grateful for people who've stopped by to make me less alone. Sister Fenn came by yesterday just to chat with me, and then I took the kids to visit Aunt Linda, and then we went to a baby shower just so we didn't have to be home alone.

Today Uncle Jacob, Aunt Shayla, and Carter came over so that they didn't have to feel alone alone and the kids and I didn't have to feel alone alone. They came so we could feel alone together.

Jacob helped me clean the bathrooms and floors and get ready for the open house we have planned for Grandma. Miraculously, Alexander let Jacob hold him. Shayla has been a low-ranking member of the short list of people Alexander permits to hold him. Jacob has been a high-ranking member of the long list of people Alexander screams about whenever they enter the room.

But not today.

Today Jacob just went over and picked Alexander up and Alexander let him do it.

Jacob and Shayla even took Alexander downstairs to play (Alexander was napping when they arrived and Carter was not-so-patiently waiting to play with Baby Xander) without me.

It was amazing!


Tonight my mom and Josie brought Miriam home from organ and they stayed to eat with us (which was nice because our table was only half full, which felt wrong) and helped me tidy up the upstairs and get the kids into bed. And Alexander let Auntie Josie cuddle him for about two hours. He didn't complain at all.

We have a couple of theories about this.

The first is that he came to earth knowing that Grandma would be leaving us soon and they must have been good buddies in heaven so he was soaking up as much of her as he could get before sending her home.

Just last week he was sitting on her lap but didn't think she was cuddling him enough so he kept grabbing her arms and pulling them across his body. We laughed about his antics for a minute and then I said, "I think he's telling you he wants a big hug!" So she pulled him into a satisfying cuddle and he just melted into her arms.

It absolutely breaks my heart that he'll never get another cuddle like that from Grandma ever again.

It's also been an exhausting week because although I believe you can't spoil a baby when it comes to holding them, I do believe that they can get too used to a good thing. And Alexander has had it so good. Not only was there Grandma to snuggle with at will, but Grandpa is usually up for a good snuggle as well. And then there's Mommy and Daddy and Rachel and so on.

This week Grandpa has been at the hospital with Grandma every day—and I absolutely understand why he was so devoted to her bedside—so we've been missing Grandpa, too, which leads me to our second theory:

Alexander has noticed that no amount of banging on Grandma's door is going to get her to come out and Mommy still keeps putting him down all the time (because she keeps doing absolutely unnecessary tasks like laundry and dishes—the nerve!) so he has (rather reluctantly) expanded his circle of safety to include anyone remotely familiar who will please just pick him up (because he is a baby who likes to be held).

And I think that's all the melancholy I had to get out of my system before I tell you about Benjamin, who was also enjoying basking in his Auntie Josie's attention.

I had made a crown for him after school because for some reason he needed a crown and at a time when I'm feeling rather indulgent. So I made him a crown. But then he decided that instead of being royalty he'd be a dinosaur because crowns have spikes and dinosaurs have spikes so...same thing. And then he turned into a dragon.

Anyway, when he'd finished his dinner he ran up to put on his crown and then came back downstairs and ran around yelling, "I'm a horny dragon! I'm a horny dragon! I'm a horny dragon!"

"What do you mean—you're a horny dragon?" my mom spluttered over a forkful of the mysterious pie that was delivered to our door today (an entire box of pie).

"I'm a horny dragon!" Benjamin repeated. "I'm all horny! See? I'm going to poke you!"

We three grown ups were laughing hysterically.

And then I brought out the dessert pies. Because in the box of pies were two savory pies (for dinner, obviously) and a dozen "baby" dessert pies. They were from "Crust Club" in PG and I have no idea who sent them to us, but they were delicious!

I gave the kids each a half of a dessert pie (because even though they call them baby pies they're still rather large for a child) and even warmed them in the microwave on-demand for them (some wanted warm pie and some wanted cold pie).

After taking a few bites of pie, Zoë looked up at me and said sweetly, "Thank you for giving me dessert pie even though I didn't eat my dinner."

"You're right!" I gasped, looking over at her plate of mostly untouched chicken pot pie (which I had told her she had to eat (I don't think she particularly cares for potatoes; we've had a lot of trouble with her refusing potato meals this week)). "I'm not a very consistent parent right now."

"No, you're not," she agreed, stuffing another bite of dessert pie into her mouth.

She didn't seem to mind. And I guess a little pie never hurt anyone. 

No comments:

Post a Comment