I’m transitioning. I decided to get back in to the corporate workforce and start another means of getting the same places I’ve wanted to be over the last couple of years. For some people this is news that would cause them to reel and spittake…for others, they just understand how I get when I want something. I tear into it and just go.
There’s looking at new school districts, neighborhoods, and old apartments and houses smothered in layers of fashionable shades of paint. All of this seems to have gotten mechanical. There’s a part of me very excited about getting out of my small town and there’s this constant ebb in me that still feels grounded here…that holds on to the hopeless nostalgia of the place I have been raising my children and carried what could be my last baby.
Max is going to be a year old in three weeks.
I haven’t held him since he was three days old. I don’t remember what his hair smells like anymore. I couldn’t tell you how it feels to cradle him and pat his little diapered butt as he bounced and cooed on my hip. I have no clue what his baby babble sounds like from any other baby’s.
Nostalgia for things I haven’t experienced is hooking me a bit. I feel guilty for my choice and for moving on with my life. In my mind it seems like I’m trying to get away from his memory by doing this…by allowing myself to go on. I’ve felt twinges of guilt for feeling joy and hope over the last few months. Normalcy seems like betrayal. So going on with life as if he never happened and then perhaps developing relationships that could further take him off my mind–it all (however irrational) seems treasonous.
i can’t be his mother and I can’t be in limbo longing to be his mother. I’m not his mother?
Who knows. This is probably another excuse to be afraid of all the potentially beautiful, potentially disappointing, and potentially life changing conditions that have started rolling. But as I make trips to the city I’m moving to and plan and regroup, I picture this one year old little boy with big, gorgeous brown eyes peeping at me…I’m starting to realize I’m fairly haunted by a living child. Is what I’m doing or going to do worth the exchange? Is what I’m about to embark on a fair trade? Am I doing enough to make that decision worth it??
I’ve had plenty to distract me from my pity party lately. Funny how I feel guilty for having enough going on that I don’t dwell on Max. He’s on my mind all the time, but lately tucked further back than usual. I guess the guilt comes from feeling like I’m prioritizing things ahead of him. That seems crazy.
It’s summer, so the kids come to the office with me in the morning. As I’m getting situated and getting them quietly settled at their own desks to stay out of the way, I notice my daughter has my phone. She was adding stickers to a hospital photo of Max. Appearing deep in thought, I just let her keep the phone and proceeded on with something else. It didn’t take long for her to start asking questions that were undoubtedly on her mind. She wanted to know who had seen his newer photos. Would we be able to visit? I began to wall off after a few questions because they got impossible to answer. I clearly need to make her understand that we have no claim on her little brother. It’s aggravating to me that I didn’t put further thought into their views of this decision.
Being aggravated is truly pointless. What’s done is done. I’m saying that not trying to take the defeated approach, but because there’s literally nothing I can do to make amends. For whatever reasons I chose to go through with it all, it’s irreversible. And even if I could take it back, I’m having trouble accepting all the changes that would have called for. The domino effect of either decision seems to go on infintely. Though the a-parents probably couldn’t imagine having another child in their arms, that’s what would have happened…and they wouldn’t have been able to imagine any other child but that one. Had I kept Max, I wouldn’t have had a vicious cycle of emotional self abuse. But I would still have some emotional battles…guilt, anxiety, and the balm of love. I always come out swinging when I feel bottomed out. But I really don’t know the depth or the adversity that would have arisen with raising a third child alone. I have learned to trust my instincts, but this time it’s always going to pull at me due to the nature of the situation.
The kids seem to bring him up a little less. A little. But when they do, it gets to me in a different way than when Max ambles across my mind. Because it means that they were thinking of him. It means there are things that they dwell on, too. I certainly don’t like the idea of passing on what I feel and have felt to children. The prolonged sense of wonder, I’ve noted before, is a lot to take on for a grown woman. I don’t like that I’ve misguidedly put them in the position to always wonder. But I defintely couldn’t and wouldn’t have lied to them to try to curtail the consequences. That would have made it worse.
This is an ego blow of massive proportions. I feel like I can do damn near anything else I want to do….this is one thing I’m not sure about. Coping. Dealing appropriately. I don’t like not being sure. I hate it. It may be strange to be 29 years old and feel so assured of every other decision I could make, but I do. This puts a chink in my armor. It proves there is a flaw in my process and ability and decision making…which makes everything else wavy. The control freak in me is battered.