i am okay
In our backyard there are two big trees – I’ve no idea what kind, because I do not know things about trees – but they spread out well and wide and there is so much shade and only one spot of sun. So we put the inflatable pool on the grass in the singular patch of sunshine, because our well water is cold and even in the Florida summer heat, the cool water in the shade is just a bit too cool. And right in that spot, where the ground is most level and the sun is most hot, the grass is starting to die because every afternoon I fill up that ten foot pool and get a brown little girl in her “simmin suit” and we head outside.
This is the rhythm of summer this year.
And also it is the rhythm of great change and sturdy consistency and so much fun and weariness mixed together that sometimes I am not sure if I’m having fun because I’m so tired I’m delirious, or if I’m exhausted because I’m having so much fun. Or, possibly, it is because the Beastie Girl has started having some sort of disrupted sleep pattern that includes midnight or 4am wake-ups that involved shouting and requests to go to the kitchen for a snack.
This summer, we have made lists and gone on trips and we have thrown the lists out the window and we have laughed until we cried and we have plain cried (me, mostly, and a lot). And we have eaten popcorn and watermelon for dinner and we have done summer bucket list things like paint birdhouses and see fireworks and make lemonade and pet the goats at Bluebird Gap. I haul my camera around because I like to look at photos and know that we had a good time and I have jotted down memories and things for which we are grateful for our Good Times Jar.
These things are charming. And we have, in fact, had Good Times.
But this summer has also been incredibly difficult.
I do not know how to describe the desperate weariness that has crept in, as we’ve adjusted to having a two year old. As we’ve navigated a one-income home and the mister has enrolled for the fall term. And the exhaustion of what feels like years of grief just creeping up on me out of nowhere and, though it pains me to quote this, the “pain demands to be felt”.
Last week, I sat on a counselor’s couch and described the emotional turmoil and unrest in this season. Yesterday I sat in a doctor’s office and described my body’s physical and emotional reactions to this season of life. Both had sound counsel to give, though, of course, no immediate solutions. Many good words and things to try, for which I am thankful. But my doctor said something yesterday that struck me:
“When your last pregnancy ended, it was barely two months before the adoption process began and from everything I know and see with miscarriage and infertility, it seems that much of your grieving process was interrupted by joy. And this was –is—a good thing sometimes. But when life circumstances slow and settle into a routine, we often find that a half-begun process must be finished. It would not surprise me that un-felt grief is showing up, even two years later.”
And I snatched my glasses off my face and wept.
This is the time of year when I feel it the most, I think. Our twins were due at the end of August 2010. They would be four this year. Can you believe it?! My boys would likely be marching into VPK to take over the world or possibly we would be setting up the backroom as a school room and beginning pre-k homeschool. I don’t know. I suppose it would have depended on their personalities. Except that August, instead of having twins, I was miscarrying a third baby. A girl. Naomi. Naomi would have just turned three this spring. A three year old girlie! There was also the faith baby – a year and a half after our twins and Naomi, we tried again, full of hope, and walked through the quiet miscarriage of a fourth little one. She would be not quite two.
I don’t mourn regularly. But at this time of year, I feel it. I feel the losses, I see the due dates, I see the marker babies growing up and there’s always a pang. And this summer, I think I’m simply feeling it more. So I’m doing what I know how – seeing the counselor, taking the vitamins, trying to remember to run, talking with my doctor, and buying daisies for my counter and a $3 candle called “dreamsicle” that lets us all pretend I have baked something wonderful. [I do not bake.]
The weather is changing a little bit – the light seems crisper and even in the warm southern sun, something in the house feels cooler. We are still faithfully dragging the pool out to the backyard and we are still making popsicles out of yogurt and berries. But the light is shifting a wee bit and I have a strong urge to buy a pack of pencils and spiral bound notebooks.
I love it when the sky starts to look different at this time of year. It reminds me that seasons come and seasons go. It reminds me that all is not lost. It reminds me that it is okay to grieve because Christ has died and Christ has risen and Christ will come again.
It reminds me that hope and redemption and faith and storied waiting looks like a sassy little blonde girl in the next room over. A Beastie Girl who is full of imagination and creativity and firm opinions and a strong dose of spunk. It reminds me that God chose our family for the Beastie Girl. And He chose her for our family.
It reminds me that I am okay.