My braces keep getting snagged on the inside of my cheek, but I'm too lazy to go get my wax. Did I tell you I now have braces on my lower teeth? Oh yes I do, and coupled with the Target reading glasses I got on Saturday, I'm now able to rock both sides of the age spectrum on one face!
There's so much I want to write about, but I'm not sure if I have the wherewithal to battle the annoying typing gods to do so.
Today I'm thinking about how our family seems so out of balance these days, and how that makes coping with the big and small news of life difficult. Margaret is living the life of an only child, but it's so different than a typical only child's experience because of our circumstances. She's more lonely child than only child, because she knows what's missing. Not the idea of a sibling, but a real big brother. Hers.
Not only is the safe rhythm of give and take and compromise of her first 9+ years absent, there also seems to be a great sense of responsibility on her shoulders for wanting to hold this family together. I don't want that burden for her.
Before, when Tim and I would bicker, which was fairly often, Jack and Margaret could roll their eyes at one another, knowing that while neither of them liked it, everything would be okay. They knew they were on firm ground. Sure, Jack said it would be fun if we got a divorce because then we'd spoil them by buying them lots of presents-- smart boy-- but he truly felt our family and our future was solid .
Now, I can tell that our bickering stresses Margaret out. I think it's just one more way she doesn't feel anything's certain anymore. A simple cough could be whooping cough. One beer could be the path to alcoholism. And if mom starts to cry, what if she can't stop? In the past few weeks she has seen families we admire breaking up, Tim's and my peers get diagnosed with cancer, and, hell, she had the reality of her brother going out to play with her in the warm rain and never coming back.
Jack and Margaret used to worry that I'd die young, as my mother did, and I'd convince them that there was simply no way that would happen. Nope. Been there, done that. It would not happen again.
So, basically, it comes down to credibility, and mine's shot. I didn't manage to keep my kids safe, I am not able to keep cancer at bay. Tim and I have a strong marriage, and breaking up has never been on the table, but who am I to say Margaret is crazy to be stressed by such things?
Impossible things happen.
Prior pain is no protection against future pain.
Life is not fair, for good or for ill.
A few months ago Margaret asked me,
"Mom, did you have a good childhood?"
"Yes, it was wonderful," I replied. "Why?"
"Because you're having a pretty bad adulthood."
She went on:
"I'm having a pretty bad childhood, but I hope that means I'll have a pretty good adulthood."
Oh, Sweetie, me too.