Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Why'd you have to go and make things so complexiated?

Today I got an offer for a free Shutterfly book and since Alexander is coming on two years old and since I haven't yet gotten around to putting a baby book together for him (a little bit of procrastination + a little bit of denial that he's as old as he is) I decided that now is probably as good a time as any.

But it's also a strange time to be reflecting both on my sweet baby boy and on the last two years in general.

Some little person switched my phone data off sometime this morning, so I spent the whole day blissfully unaware that anyone had been attempting to contact me all day. No notifications on my phone: zero. We played outside with sidewalk chalk, we read stories, we had nap time, we had a tea party, we did some chores, we went to the park to meet Benjamin and Miriam after school.

I tried to post a picture of Alexander being silly.

"Connect to cellular data plan or wifi" my phone alerted me.

So I turned on my cellular and my phone blew up. Metaphorically, of course.

Text messages came flying at me, fast.

1, 2, 3. Ping, ping, ping.

4, 5, 6. Ping, ping, ping.

7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38...

My phone was vibrating so much I feared it might actually explode.

39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50...

They were coming in so fast I couldn't even read them before the screen was flooded with more.

51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67...

It would have been comical if the content were no so fraught with tragedy.

68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78!

Seventy-eight missed messages, guys! Messages with updates from a courtroom determining whether or not a child/parent relationship should be continued. I had tuned in just in time to await the verdict from the judge. I went back to read the beginning of the thread, while still getting text messages from Grandpa—who was in the courtroom.

Reid said she was shaking with emotion, which I wholeheartedly believe because I was shaking with emotion simply reading about the trial. What that emotion was, I can't be sure. It was one of those, as Zoë might say, "complexiated" emotions: pity and anger and sorrow and hope and relief and helplessness and gratitude and pain and...

So, you see, it's all rather complexiated.*

Ultimately, my heart is breaking for her; she's lost her legal rights as a mother. I wish there was a real way to comfort her; I can't imagine having to have watched her break down in the courtroom, unable to rush in to comfort her. So my heart breaks for Grandpa, too. No one wants this pain for their child. And no one wants a child to grow up without knowing their mother...unless their mother is demonstrably unfit to be a mother.

This is a hard thing all around, but sometimes what is best is what is hard.

Is it best? It's anyone's guess, I suppose.

I'm just glad that I didn't have to be the one to decide what to do in this case (or any case like it) because it's got to be a heart-wrenching decision to make. Being a judge doesn't sound like a very fun job.

* Okay, so when we were getting ready to leave for the park, I was fiddling with Alexander's sandals because Zoë had pulled all four of the velcro straps clear out of their loops (like, you know how you tuck the velcro strap under a loop before folding it back on top of itself, and that's how the shoe stays on? Does that even make sense? Is there a better way to describe that?), which makes putting shoes on twice as hard (at least, if not more). So getting Alexander's shoes on was taking longer than usual. 

"Come on, Mom!" Zoë said, stamping her little foot. "Get Alexander's shoes on so we can go outside!"

"I'm working on it," I said. "It would have been easier if..."

"If it wasn't so complexiated, I know!" she interjected.

"Sure," I agreed with her, "It would have been easier if it wasn't so complexiated!" (though what I was really going to say was "if someone hadn't pulled his straps out").


  1. Wow, your phone really did blow up! I am sorry for the loss of that mother/child bond. All of this is heartbreaking, but I pray one day this relationship with be restored.

    And, yes, I understand what you mean about the velcro strap tuck and loop thingie.