This week has been hard. Work-hard, family-hard, Alyce-hard (thank you, Shira, for deciding to sleep this week). Everyone say it with me: being a grown-up can be really annoying some days. I mean really annoying. Like having to realize that I'm the grown-up and can control my emotions better than my three-year-old, so that we can get along better. Sometimes all I want to do in the moment is collapse right along with her on floor and have a meltdown, but I'm not having much success with that reaction. So I'm trying to pick myself up and model some patience for her because the alternative might involve sending her to live with her Nana in Canada, and then I'd really miss her. Since I miss her one hour after she goes to bed at night, shipping her north isn't ideal.
Do you know what also works in place of side-by-side meltdowns? Jumping in puddles. After a long afternoon of whining and general tomfoolery (and not the good kind), I escaped into the rain with Alyce in search of puddles. Actually, we needed bread and Alyce needed to get out of the house, but as soon as we started our walk I realized that all of this was just about getting to the puddles. At first Alyce was afraid to fall in, but she quickly realized that falling in was actually kind of fun. But not more fun than getting her feet stuck in the mud, which elicited some of the most restorative giggling sessions I've ever been a part of. Me and Alyce needed those puddles.
That was Wednesday. That night I posted about what was really bothering me and I realized that I'm feeling strained by all this uncertainty more than I had admitted, even to myself. It was all piling up and it was beginning to reach Alyce, who seems still attached to my insides and appears to feel as I feel. Shira's birth has made it so apparent that Alyce and I will always have a relationship that is just for us. Even though Shira's the one physically attached to me through breastfeeding, Alyce and I still often occupy the same physical and emotional space. Some days I swear she's trying to climb back inside me. But then the next second she's yelling at me to leave her alone, so I don't foresee her return to the womb anytime soon, in case you were worried. I wonder how my relationship with Shira will unfold? The first ten months have been delicious (during daylight hours).
It was important for me to realize that the stress of grown-up life was seeping into my mood with the girls. Realizing this doesn't fix everything, but it helps. What also helps is having amazing friends who read my posts and then send me the most supportive, encouraging messages. So much of the past three years has been isolating, and what I'm learning about isolation is how important perspective can be. It's far too easy to be hard on yourself when there is no one else around to tell you differently. Of course I've had my best friend with me here, but sometimes he's too close to the situation for me to hear him clearly. So, thank you to everyone who sent me messages. I haven't been able to respond to them all yet, but I wanted to let you how much perspective it gave me. It was a gift I needed.
I'm hoping the weekend brings more restorative giggling, and maybe some restorative movie-watching and napping. I'm taking my first sewing class on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to that. What are your plans for the weekend? Please do share!
Passover parley update: still growing. The cats are dutifully supervising, and Pomegranate, if you eat the parsley before Passover you'll not be invited to our seder.