I get dressed to work out and Max and I drive downtown while he points out tunnels and cross “walking guys.” This is all routine and I smile at the normalcy. We get the Y and I pray for success. Max used to enter the child watch with ease. He would run in and find his favorite bee toy and be delighted until I picked him up. After James’ death I, of course, was recommended to wait to exercise until 6 weeks postpartum. So I did and when we came back the bee toy was missing and there were new faces and deep down inside he knows his mom is a wee bit out of balance and so he cries for me. He cries and cries and at first I tried to let him but they come and get you after awhile of course. We talked about how safe and fun the Y is and how mommy goes there to get her exercise which makes her much happier and still he cries. He cries out, “Mommy, mommy!” and I give in.
I didn’t always used to give in. In fact I prided myself on my rather rigid backbone but now, now it is soft. Today I try to ease him in and I play for a minute and sneak away, but there are too many parents in the way and he catches a glimpse and screams. I can’t. Not today. Today turned out to not be so good. So we go home and I cry while driving, holding my tears steady at stoplights. I am mad at myself mostly for giving in. I am mad there wasn’t much more I could do and yes I was a little bit mad at Max for not just having fun there like he used to.
I cried even harder once we got home with Max’s head on my chest. He snuggles me for awhile, playing with the tassels of my sweatshirt. I worry that crying so hard in front of him will scar him for life. Is this all he will remember of me, that is mother cried and cried and he was helpless. I think to myself that I should possibly call someone to come and get Max because the darkness is seeping in. I go over who I could call and I cry even more because there is no one I feel like I can call for help. This thought depresses me more.
I know there are people who would want to help and who have helped in the past, but with the start of school and the hustle of life, I feel largely forgotten. People have assured me that I am not, that they pray for me and that they think of me often. However, that does not help me in these moments where I wish there was someone I was comfortable enough with to call in moments of desperation and to feel comfortable crying in front of, but there isn’t. I don’t know if I can change that either, at this point I don’t know if I can let anyone in.
I pray and cry and cry and pray and tell God that I am mad at him. He needs to know sometimes that although I accept this trial, I do not like it. He assures me that he already knows this and I think of what I can do to feel better.
I decide to get dressed, out of my workout clothes and into something warm. I also decide to write. I always feel hesitation to write about my sadness, my darkness. But it is the only way that I can let people in, that I can let them know that…. I am praying to just feel okay. Not happy, not joyful, but simply okay would be a blessing.
And while I write, the darkness flows from my spirit and through my fingertips and onto this virtual paper. The movement of my fingers is exercise enough to bring endorphin and my heart is no longer pounding and the tears are gone and Max is playing quietly and my prayer has been answered, I feel okay.