12:57am. I’ve been looking at pictures of Bunny and crying. I miss her. It’s like I’ve barely seen her in a week.
Bunny had an ear infection and a fever all last week. It was mostly up to me to take care of her.
It was a nice healthy dose of emotional detachment that got me through it.
Emotional detachment and Xan.ax.
Because otherwise I couldn’t have withstood it.
She’s been better for 4 days. But I’m not quite better yet. Her being sick made me sick.
I have moments that I’m attached again, looking at my beautiful girl, smiling, being her usual playful self after a week of unbearable pain.
And here she is, good as new, but I’m not.
I’m detached. I detached to deal with it all, and now I have to find my way back.
That happens a lot. These days, that’s what happens more than anything.
When things get hard I detach so I can be there for her.
She’s the one who is allowed to cry.
I’m not allowed to cry.
I cry – but I try not to do that with her. With her I’m strong. I do what I have to do. I take care of her. And hold her. And hug her. And rock her. And sing. And read stories.
But I can’t help but worry that she detects the hints of detachment in me. I can’t help but worry that my way of dealing sometimes puts a wall between us.
Because if I felt all of my feelings all of the time I would not be human.
There would be no work. There would be no sleep. No food. No showers. No conversation.
Just sinking completely into her.
Joy, grief, pain. Joy. Joy. Joy. Fear. Joy. Fear.
“They” say having a child is like putting your heart into someone else’s body.
I think “They” may be right.
I’ve always felt things more strongly than most. Feelings overwhelm me. I see things in black and white.
Which is why I taught myself to shut off feelings so I can function.
Or I’d sink into her, completely. I would disappear into the lovely, amazing, miraculous person that has taken my heart into her body.
It’s cheesy. It’s cheesy because it’s true.
My heart is in her. So when she’s not here it’s not here.
I go to the office. Or I stay at home and work while she’s at day care. And I sometimes forget she’s real.
Not really forget. That’s not really the word.
But I do remember she’s real each time I see her again. Each time. I remember again.
Every morning that I wake up with her. Every time I go away and come back. Or she goes away and comes back. I remember.
She’s real. This is her.
This miraculous, beautiful, exquisite little person is mine.
And if I let myself feel that… Everything that comes with feeling that. The fear. The pain. The ecstasy….
If I let myself feel that all of the time there would be no me any more. I would melt completely into her.
So I throw myself into work. And at 4pm every day I sink into 3.5 hours of complete bliss that is my daughter.
But I always need a wall.
Or I would cry. I would do nothing but cry. Overwhelming tears of joy, of gratitude, of grief, of fear. Of every feeling that chases me each time I hear her laugh. Or hear her say mamamamamamama over and over again.
I know she’s not calling my name but I know that someday that will be her calling mamamamama. Mama.
And that’s me. And I have to be a whole person. For her.
So when I need to, I put up a wall. And hope against all hope that it’s a glass wall.
Transparent enough that she can see me, in all my undying love, devotion, fear, love, love, unconditional, unending, overwhelming love – for her.
On the other side.