14 October 2010


I'm here. I'm consumed by work at my job and work at home. Everything is insane at my 9–5; I'm revising/reworking/rewriting a big piece, dealing with some really ugly personnel issues between two people who report to me, and trying to keep pace with the usual demands and tasks. Home is also nonstop as we prepare for our au pair to arrive. We've had unusually busy social times, too, with visits from my brother-in-law and my dad and lots of fun family and friend events. Things feels especially relentless right now, a balance of welcome business and undue stress. As the saying goes: that's life.

In social news, it seems perhaps stating the obvious to say that a surefire way to put an end to a relationship is to blog about it. Since my last post about dating, things have fizzled out between me and the guy I was seeing. It's OK; it wasn't serious and nothing dramatic happened. We both just got too busy to find time to see each other. If we really wanted it to work, we'd find time. I find that I'm too overwhelmed to really miss him, and I think that says it all. It was nice, but it was not IT, and that's totally fine.

I'm consumed lately by thoughts of little Maddie and Riley, baby Maddie and Riley, toddler Maddie and Riley. Many of my friends have second babies who range in age from infant to two-ish, and I'm stunned at every turn by how little I remember of those first couple of years of Maddie and Riley's life. I'm awed by the sweetness and utter dependence of these tiny people, astounded that I can't recall with any real clarity that time in our lives. It's not surprising, of course. We had more going on in our lives during that time than the average middle-class American family, and the fog of sleeplessness of that period robs all parents of sharp focus around those years. In most instances, I think that works to advantage. It's human nature to recall even the most trying of times with a rosy glow. I'm sad these days about how that's not true for me when I look back on the first couple of years of the twins' lives. Yeah, I recall some good things, but I also remember a lot of drudgery and work and crying (from everyone) and stress. I remember not sleeping. I remember feeling utterly crushed by responsibility.

I remember good stuff: friends, visits from family, weekend trips and meals out. But details of Maddie and Riley? How it felt to hold them when they were small? Not so much.

Bah, this is all maudlin, not sure how I got here. Not sure what my point is. It was hard, back then. It's better now. Maybe that's it. Maybe that's all. It gets better. I've been really moved by all of the it gets better videos circulating on the Internet, offering encouragement to GLBT youth and letting them know that while they might be suffering now, better times will come. It's true: things get better, sometimes through effort, sometimes just through the passage of time. But things get better.

This post is kind of a mess. How about those Chilean miners! What a story that has been. Riveting.

On that note, I'm going to bed.


OTRgirl said...

I relate to this post. Not the subject matter, but the desire to update the blog even though I'm too busy to figure out what I want to say.

I'm glad things are better for you then they were. I can imagine feeling sad that they sweet memories of one's babies are overlaid with so much other weighty issues.

Those Chilean miners WERE amazing...

MomQueenBee said...

If it's any consolation, most parents don't really remember the first few years of their children's lives. It's the toddler equivalent of childbirth amnesia.

liz said...

What OTRgirl said, pretty much verbatim.

Sandi said...

If parents remembered everything about the baby and toddler years, they would only have one child.

I think when you are an "only" parent it is very hard to date and try to have a relationship.
Someone at work asked me about dating and that's pretty much what I said to her.

Not that I would really know. I have yet to even dip my toe in the water.

amyunicorn said...

It's so true! Things do get better, constantly and consistently better. As the kids get older/bigger/more independent they just get better and easier. I see pictures of my kids as babies and think, huh? Sometimes small things come back to me and make me giggle, and my kids are now old enough I share them with them, but the only memories that are clear as crystal are the days of their births.

Crash Course Widow said...

I remember almost nothing of Anna's toddler years too. I remember the baby stuff easily enough--Charley wasn't dead yet--and ironically enough, I can remember it up til about 18 months...so about 6 months after Charley died. Then it all becomes a fog, til about 3 1/2 when I started feeling better, the Terrible Twos/Demonic Threes finally abated, and the grief wasn't so overwhelming or else confusing/disorienting/unknowable.

I see babies now and I just want to go back and have Anna little again to do it all over, so I can enjoy it this time around...and remember it. Okay, and dress her all fun and froofy to MY taste too. (That's half the fun of having a girl for me. =)) Fortunately, the pain, loss, and agony of seeing babies now has totally gone away, for the most part; now I'm just wistful and fond, but not triggered.

Sometimes I think it's a good thing I can't remember much from those missing 2 years, as they weren't particularly good years. Not as traumatizing as the first 6-12 months after Charley died, but more devastating and debilitating over the long run. Plus Anna was a turd for much of that. Not as awful or trying as a lot of kids, but between the grief, moving, transitions, and all the subsequent changes and loss, I was a wreck.

So having twins on top of all that? Oy. No wonder you can't remember any of it. It was bad enough with one kid and when I didn't have a terminal illness to deal with for 2 1/2 years before that. Sucks now that you can't remember much of the good stuff with them, or even the little trivial things. Hopefully you can embrace and remember everything now that much more; I know that's been the case for me.

And we need to get together soon, either with or without kids! It's been too long!! And did you ever see or hear when our brief fit of stardom might be airing on...what channel was that? Wanna see how cute our kids were running through puddles. =)

Hang in there!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that I am not the only one who struggles to remember my twins' at those early stages. I look at pictures and I honestly don't remember much of it. I was so busy "managing" them that I didn't really get to enjoy them.

I wish I could go back and hug those little babies a little more.


Jay Cosnett said...

I agree with MomQueenBee and Sandi, and both of my kids' first years were with both of us (parents). Sam as an infant almost killed us, our relationship, everything. We were insane. Sleep deprivation and so much more. Worse for Julie, but it was bad all the way around. Ella was better, but still so intense we felt crazy.

Being a grieving, solo parent at ANY stage of your kids' lives is super hard; being the parent of twins (where there both more or less in the same place, developmentally, and there isn't an older one to "help," even in minor ways), is super hard; being the parent of babies (at least the intense kind) is super hard. So you've got three super hards piled on top of each other!

Oh, and if I may be presumptuous, tell your esteemed employer to get the fuck over themselves. As a great co-worker of mine once said (before he died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 50 of a heart condition), "It's not like we're curing cancer!"


I guess this comment is kind of a mess, too!


Anonymous said...

I'm a grandmother now ... with a two-and-a-half year old and a two-month old. Both girls, just as I had two daughters. I'm incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to spend regular days each week with these granddaughters ... and I keep surprising myself with the fact that although I adored my own babies, I have so little clear memory of those early years. I know I was present in my own mind then, and I can recall thinking that I never knew before I had children how unconditionally I could love another person. But the day-to-day? Just not there. Honestly, I am so enjoying the time I have with this next generation. Probably by the time they are older, I will either be gone myself, or have Alzheimers or something. Hee, but I am sure loving it all now.


Nina said...

I hope things quiet down a little bit for you and you get some downtime to just...enjoy. Maybe when the au pair comes?

I really relate to your feelings about not remembering Maddie and Riley when they were little. I feel that way about my second son - not just because he was my second and so I was busier and had last time to enjoy him, but because I was going through a difficult loss when he was born so it's as if that kind of erased all those small, beautiful moments. It really bothers me now.

Mizasiwa said...

I agree with several of the commenters and i dont remember my kids being little either with the older one becouse he was just so difficult and being a new mom was difficult and i was just totally overwhelmed and out of my depth and comfort zone. with my youngest she was just a year when my father died and so this year she turned 3 and i couldnt recall what we did last year for her birthday - a whole year gone. I took a lot of photos of my son and almost none of my daughter i dont know why... just didnt have the time and when i see little babies i remember how sad iv been these past 5 years and how i wish i hadnt been but the best lesson iv learned is not to think like that (or itll kill me) I just try be present now with them and try remember it like taking photos in my head and i hope i remember more now... good luck with this time, any upheavel can unearth feelings of misplacement but i know youll come out on the other side fine

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

It also bothers me that I cannot remember much from my son's first few years. I counted on the fact that I would remember very little of when my husband was deployed but would remember a lot more when he was home. It didn't work out that way, I don't know why.

It's seem odd somehow that the universal experience would be to not remember much yet also that it would nearly universally bother mothers.

I'm glad things are better now, for you and for a lot of people. My son is gay, a very happy college freshman and these past weeks have been a combination of incredibly sorrow and yet hope continues to break through. Thankfully.

django's mommy said...

Snick, I totally heart you, mostly b/c if I could write, all my posts would be like that...

(and also! Howsabout those evil Yankees?)

Gina said...

I have often thought that photos and videos are great but what I would really love is a way to capture the *feeling* of holding your baby. The weight of them, the smallness of them curved around you. I remembered how I longed to be able to capture that with my first child so with my second child I tried when I was holding him to "imprint" the feeling on my mind, but alas, he's now 18 months and I just really can't remember the feel of him as a little baby.

Jane said...

So in the post before last, you linked "Sam's" blog, and I think a lot of people from your site went there and looked. I spent a week or so obsessively reading through the archives as did others and slowly came to feel suspicious. Do you know this young woman or are you just another blog reader? What do you think? Her last post was last weekend, and there are about 20 comments with others expressing doubt. Have you been following it? Any insight?