Thursday, April 7, 2016
Hello from Sodden New England
Which is slightly better than Snowy New England, which we were just three days ago. Five inches of snow on April 4?! Seriously, we've had more snow since the official first day of spring than in the whole of winter. Today, at least, is rain. And rain melts snow. So sodden it is.
Besides, good practice for my upcoming trip to Ireland :)
I keep drafting elegant, witty posts in my head and never manage to get them out my fingers. Random it is.
What Irritates Me These Days
1. Memes that say things like "The best way to stay happy is to let go of what makes you sad." What if what's making you sad is that your oldest child, your firstborn little blonde boy who loved cookies and Star Wars and aliens has been doing hard drugs for several years? What if you're traumatized from an intervention day on which you could see your child's death as clearly as if he were lying in his coffin? What if he screams at you and walks out and lives on the streets for a week rather than go to treatment? What if he believes that drugs are not the problem--the problem is you and dad? How do I let go of my child?
(Edited: no need to give me advice. Really. I know that the answer is to let go of my fears and hopes and blah, blah, blah . . . and believe me, I have done that as much as any human mother is capable of. I let my son stay on the streets even while he texted that the needed me, that he had nothing to eat, that he was scared . . . I didn't break because he had an option, the option of treatment, and because I knew without a doubt that if we gave in short of treatment, he would die. Sooner rather than later. And I absolutely refused to let him die while using my money to kill himself.)
(Also, he is safe now. In a year-long residential program just two hours from us designed for young men his age. He is safe, he is clean, and he is in the best possible place and with the best possible people to get healthy. He might still be mad at us, but I can live with that. But if I see one more image of letting go of a balloon or curlicued script urging me to be happy by walking away from whatever is bad . . . I might punch something.)
2. Snow in spring. See first paragraph.
3. Meds that make me gain weight, and make it incredibly hard to lose it again.
4. College prep for my daughter. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE SHE WILL BE EIGHTEEN THIS FALL AND LEAVING HOME NEXT YEAR.
5. Car accidents. In the midst of the parental trauma of the winter, I managed to total my car. My pretty little Kia Soul that was the first personal thing I bought with book money. Hit a car in front of me when it stopped suddenly and next thing you know I'm on a stretcher going to the ER (I'm fine) and my car is being towed off never to be driven again. It was really just an awful winter. I think I aged ten years in two months.
What Makes Me Happy These Days
1. A new car. Another pretty little Kia Soul, this one in Alien Green that my kids hate. But they're not invited to drive it, so there.
2. Being able to sleep at night without fear a ringing phone will tell me my son is dead.
3. Spring. Even sodden. Crocuses, daffodils, and tulips are the best flowers in the world. I get giddy when I see them coming up through the winter dirt.
4. Travel. After seeing our son safely into treatment, my husband and I took a week-long trip to Orlando. Stayed on property at Universal, went to the parks, ate really good food, spent several days in a rented pool cabana doing nothing but eating and sleeping . . . it was perfect. And for spring break, my daughter and I are going to Ireland for a week. Mostly Dublin, though we'll take a couple trips outside the city. The primary reason is for her to visit Trinity College and take a tour--it's among her top choices for university.
And . . . let's just say my husband is planning to write off the expenses of this trip as research. Which is all I can say at the moment. But perhaps by the time I return I can elaborate :)
5. BOOKS MAKE ME HAPPY! AND BOOK PEOPLE! AND THE KINDNESS OF READERS EMAILING ME!!!! I have so much to make up for these last months of absence. I can only say that my neglect of my readers is no more than my neglect of every person in my daily life. I have been an awful daughter, an awful friend--we won't even get started on how long and deeply I've dwelt in guilt about my mothering--and an awful author. Writing has been . . . tolerable. Which is to say some of it happened. But the other parts of authoring? Not so much.
I can't promise to be who I'm not. But I can promise that I'm tired of living in the exhaustion of hour to hour fear. I'm tired of thinking about nothing but keeping myself and my family alive. It's time to love things again. To participate in the world again. To remind myself that isolation can become permanent and crippling if allowed.
I like the world. Thanks for still being here :)