The Life of Bon: May 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Three of us

It was Sunday.  It was raining.

We woke up from a long afternoon nap.  All three of us. 
(That's what we are now.  Three of us.)

It's not our pattern to sleep all afternoon on Sunday.  Usually there's a family dinner to go to.  Or a neighborhood get together.  Or June wants to stay up and do puzzles or watch show or use her artistic license to draw all over the walls.

But this Sunday we are all tired.  Hugh goes right to his crib after a full day of flirting at church nursery.  June and I turn on an episode of Jeopardy, her patiently waiting for me to be done with "my show" so she can watch hers.  I look over at her during final Jeopardy.  Her eyes are drooping.

So I carry her up to my bed.  "You're tired, baby, take a little nap and we'll all watch a movie together when you wake up." 
"But I'm not tired..." she protests weakly.
I tuck her in close to me, her four year old body instantly breathing deeply.
I look at my phone as I'm drifting off.  3:04
I hear Hugh crying.
 I look at my phone.
The three of us sleeping the afternoon away in the warm cocoon of our little townhome.
(That's what we are now.  Three of us.)

Now the issue of dinner.  What to feed one reasonably hungry adult and two unreasonably hungry toddlers.  German pancakes June suggests.  We blend it up, throw it in the oven, set the timer for 25 minutes.  We wait.

Maverick does something funny and I say "He's done that since he was a puppy." 
"I want to see a picture of Maverick as a puppy" says June.   
I sink down to the floor and pull up pictures on my phone.  Immediately she is in my lap.  "This is when we first got Maverick" I tell her.  "This was his first Halloween."  "This was his first Christmas and you were just barely in mommy's tummy then." 
Hugh, never one to be too far from June or mom or an opportunity to cuddle, wrestles his way in.

"This was the day you were born, June. 
Look at the way I cried when I first met you. 
I missed you so much." 
"This was Hugh in my belly. 
Look how big and round he was." 
"This was the day Hugh was born.
This was when grandma brought you to the hospital and you saw Hugh for the first time."

Both June and Hugh are smashed on my lap, eagerly devouring the pictures of themselves.  What a funny thing, I realize, in this instagram, photograph saturated world that my phone-less children are starved for photos.  Hugh points to himself.  "Ball!" his favorite and only word.

John Mayer is playing in the background.  "Love on the weekend, love on the weekend
Like only we can, like only we can"  
Our backs are pressed up against the pantry door. 
We are all limbs, my children and I, their bodies touching every part of me, desperate to see pictures of themselves, to learn their own history, to see their own faces. 
Our arms, our faces, our fingers smushed together. Any personal space completely sacrificed in only the way that young children can.  I can't tell where my leg ends and where Hugh's begins.  We look at so many pictures like this.

I begin to cry.  The top of Hugh's head is getting wet from the tears and I rub them off on June's arm and I can't stop crying but what a gift what a gift what a gift to have these children. 
The moment feels big.  As if everything stops for just a minute in that kitchen. I know it will not last.   In four minutes the timer will go off and then it's time to eat and do dishes and after we'll pop popcorn and watch a movie and then jammies and teeth and stories and bedtime and I'll put a load of laundry in and attempt to pick up railroad tracks for the eight hundred and forty sixth time and stare at my phone mindlessly and collapse into bed and then we will start another week of go go go.

But for right now it's just the three of us in a heap on the kitchen floor, looking at pictures and waiting for the pancakes to cook.
(That's what we are now.  Three of us.)

It was Sunday.  It was raining.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

break up

I broke up with my boyfriend this week.

Was he my boyfriend?

I don't know.  He called himself my boyfriend.  He was my take me to dinner, talk about basketball, call me every day, miss him when he's gone, tell my worries to, make plans with, watch scary movies together, help me pick out tile for the bathroom, pick up my prescription, kiss me late at night friend.

The breakup happened quickly.  Almost instantly. 

My heart- already cautious and scared- trying to take baby steps but finding it impossible to keep up with his long, confident strides.  A wobbly baby giraffe trying out new, shaky legs being asked to keep up with a 70 mph cheetah.

I asked him to slow down.  He tried his hardest.  Maybe wobbly baby giraffes and 70 mph cheetahs just don't mix?

With time, a few concerns developing.  Blurry under the water, but rising to the surface.  And in one 24 hour period, on a weekend trip, back to back concerns and it's a "Hey, I'm out" from me.

"You haven't even given us a chance to work through any of this." He says. "This is the first I've heard of these concerns."  It doesn't matter.  My brain is in protection mode.  It perceives danger.  You are not safe. It tells me.  Run. It tells me. Fight or flight.  The thing about fight or flight is when you chose fight year after year after year and that fight left you battered and bloody and almost dead on the side of the road with your two babies you don't choose fight anymore.  You fly.  As fast as you can.

I'm still reeling from the shock of the breakup.  Shocked by the end of a relationship that I chose to end.  Even as I was saying the words, I was surprised.  It happened so quickly.  We were talking summer plans.  Trips in the camper with kids.  Jackson Hole.  A road trip to Canada to meet his mom. And then the next day I hear myself saying actually this isn't working for me.  I need a break . I need space.  I can't do this.

I have my space now.  What do I do with my space?

I question.
I doubt.
I worry.
I cry.

Did I pull the trigger too quickly?  Is my brain accurately perceiving danger?  Will my heart ever feel safe again?

All week long I repeat the mantra my therapist has helped me with,

I am in control
I can trust my judgment
I can get what I want

If I say it enough times maybe I'll believe it.