Some days I feel so close to normal, it frightens me. I catch myself singing along with the radio. Laughing out loud without a moment's hesitation. Concentrating on work with a laser focus I haven't felt in over a year. An entire day will pass without me shedding a tear. And, I worry. How can I be at this place? Am I a terrible Momma? Shouldn't I be laid up in bed? Paralyzed by my grief? What does it say about me that I'm back in the Land of the Living?
And then it will happen. A tiny event, an unexpected moment. A little boy who looks like the Future You at Target or the grocery store. The car next to me with your cowmooflage car seat stationed in the back seat. An ambulance flying by me on the commute to work. Whoosh! In crashes the wave. And, the grief I have kept at bay for minutes, hours, days, overwhelms me. Drowns me.
Earlier this week it snuck up while I was driving in to the office. A song I had sung to you most mornings on our way to school started playing, once again from the dangerous iPod rotation. It was my first time hearing the song since your death. Images of your giant, toothy grin in my rearview mirror and your little tennis shoe-clad feet kicking the passenger seat popped into my brain and blinded my vision. So, over to the side of the road Momma pulled. And, there I sat for 15 minutes indulging in a good, long, hysterical cry. The sadness has been slowly fraying me at the edges ever since. The tears are waiting in the wings, ready at a moment's notice.
And, something about this pattern. This ebb and flow of emotion. This roller coaster ride. It feels normal. Comfortable. Feeling "OK" for too long is worrisome. And getting stuck in a deep low is dangerous. But riding the waves up and down and back up again provides Momma with a sense of balance. A sense of closeness to you while also allowing me to embrace The Bean with some of the happiness and bliss of other new moms.
Peanut, you are always in my heart. You are a part of every breath, every smile. You are the reason for every step forward I take, no matter how hard it might be. Whether it's a laugh or a tear, a song or a sob, it is filled with love for you. Love that I send to you every night on the wings of a giant Momma air kiss. To the moon. And back.