Monday, September 22, 2008

Precious memories

Joe and I were watching movies last weekend, and we came across one that seems like a silly little chick flick now, but that had tremendous meaning to me at the time. It led to sharing a lot of things about my past and I wound up going and getting into my cedar chest, trying to resurrect some photographs to share with him. I did not find the photo album I was looking for. But I did find about four old journals, three of which were from before my marriage to Stewart and one that was after. I did not remember keeping a journal while Stewart and I were married. What I found was such a gift. I had very briefly kept a journal while Joseph was a baby. I detailed what he was up to, what we did together that day, what made him laugh, what made him upset. I talked at length about my hopes for his future and the depths of my brand new first time Mother Love. I have no memory of being this way. I am very harsh with myself when I look back on myself as a mother. I remember more the times I struggled, the resentment I would feel as the heaviness of needs for all in the family would again and again push my own aside. I was stunned to read this eloquent, poignant accounting of a young mother who seemed to have such a great grasp at the time that this precious 7 month old baby was only on loan to her. I mentioned it more than once, and it chilled me to read it. I know I had no inkling at the time what would happen to that baby. But one particularly long entry was made on January 10th, 1994. How little I did know that 13 years later to the day, the very baby I was recording the antics of and my feelings for, would be gone from me.

I did not write much in there and I wish now I had recorded more. What little bit was in there was like recapturing a part of him.

I have stopped seeing Jordan, the happy hippie therapist. We did a lot of good work together and I feel I learned some important things. But when it came down to the nitty gritty of my grief, the honest truth is that I just do not trust him. He is a fine man, gentle and introspective, but so meek and mild mannered. I did not feel as if he could bear the weight of my sorrow with me. It took me a while to figure that out, to understand why I felt such an aversion to going back. I may in time seek another therapist, perhaps a woman, who might understand more the grief of a mother, or just another individual who is not so ethereal in their approach. Right now I am doing okay.

I am not enjoying school. The competitive nature gets more and more choking each semester, an atmosphere I do not thrive under but yet I have a hard time ignoring. I spend a lot of my time when I think about school in a state of raw fear. I have not yet learned how to manage that effectively I guess. It doesn't help that so much of what I learn brings to mind so many memories of my son. I am making excellent grades. I do not know where the anxiety comes from. There was a time in my life I could care less. A nice, happy medium would be beneficial.

I celebrate turning 38 at the end of this week. Alex will be off to brain tumor camp (Camp Feliz), which he loves. His eigth grade "girlfriend" always goes...I hope he doesn't come home with a broken heart. He is doggedly true to her despite very little contact and absolutely no reason to believe this much older female returns his feelings. She is kind to him and a very sweet girl and does nothing to either encourage nor discourage him, but is just a friend and pen pal. But I worry for my little man's heart. There is no way to break that kind of a crush. Whatever resolution comes will have to come on its own.

Joe and I are tossing around the idea of upgrading to a newer, more spacious home in the same general area we are in now. He and I have had some wonderful talks about our finances and our dreams, our plans for the future. So many things are happening that I hardly dared ever hope for. Life is very very good despite my chronic anxiety about school, work, my kids, the economy. I feel such gratitude for all the good things going on. I am the luckiest girl I know. If anything, I yearn for more time at home, more time to just be a Mom and a...well...not exactly a wife....a wife-like being....that is where my greatest contentment and sense of security is. I never thought that would be me. I was always somewhat driven to find happiness elsewhere. I think it is true what they say, that timing is everything. I did a little bit of decorating for fall over the weekend. Joe and I drank homemade cosmopolitans on Saturday night. We had a realtor over to take a look around and I looked at a few houses on Sunday, enough to be encouraged by the possibilities. We shall see what happens.

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