"When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago."
After you've written the majority of a blog post as you stand dripping in a lukewarm shower, it's probably a good sign that it needs to be typed out...
Sky has been gone for a month now. One month of Millie and myself. The days rolled into weeks, and will keep rolling for quite a while longer. The two of us walked on a snowy street in campustown tonight, on the way to meet my dad for dinner, and all I could think was, "I'm so tired." I kept repeating it in my mind as if acknowledging it would make it go away. We fought the battle of campus sidewalks bravely, listening to the bells ring in the tower as we passed. When we approached the enormous old building that was our destination, she suddenly stopped cold in her tracks, snowflakes swirling around her and students pushing past us. She just didn't want to take any more steps. I didn't know how to tell her I understood.
It reminds me of being in labor, really. From the moment the first fears of it hit, and all through the pregnancy including those first contractions, I told myself that I could do it because other women had done it. They somehow get through the pain, survive it, and end up with a beautiful baby at the end. But as my contractions got stronger and the pain distorted any sort of complex thinking, I broke down from those things and could only tell myself, "This hurts." The light at the end of the tunnel was little match for those hours, and by the end of it all, I hardly believed Millie would ever get there. It was long and painful, and that was all I knew until she arrived.
Millie has been an altogether different baby since Sky left. There's no way to know what role that has in it, and what is just her fitting snugly into the place of a two year old, but just about every day has been a challenge with her. After I'm the only one correcting her all day (and feeling alternately justified and guilty for it), we start into the bedtime fights that sometimes last hours. When it's all said and done, I turn off my light, bunch the pillows up around me, exhale or cry, and think, "I wasn't the kind of mother I want to be today." And that, my friends, is not a good feeling. It's the kind of thing that leaves me drifting into sleep with those final conscious thoughts being sad ones, and waking up to remember where I left off the night before.
There isn't one thing I can point to- it's all of it. Taking care of her alone, schoolwork every day, pregnancy, fighting with the Army and despairing that we'll never get the paycheck we were promised, fighting for the insurance we were told we'd be handed- everything. It's that settled-into-my-bones tired that feels physical, emotional, and spiritual.
I know we'll get there. I know we aren't alone in it. Some nights, those things hold me together. But sometimes, like tonight, it's easier to lean back into the couch and break into pieces.
We'll try again tomorrow.