I am starting this blog because I need to write. I don't want to pour out everything on facebook, because you don't want to the 'friend' that everyone silently defriends because you are a Debbie Downer. I know you will reassure me that this isn't the case, but if you want to know what is really going on, it will be here. Only a click away. It's your choice, I'm not making you.
I hope someday there will be bright posts here. I hope I will be able to tell you the good things and lessons that I have learned, but that is not here, not today. A month is too short a time, my nerves are still raw. If you need that 'bubble of peace', feel free to go away now.
Working yesterday was hard. But then breathing is sometimes hard these days.
Every place I go has unseen traps. Kroger parking lot has Perry, I showed him off a bit at the Public Safety Day. I remember walking with Chris to buckle him in before they left. They say there are pictures out there of him then.
The memories are sweet but with that bitter edge that there will be no more new. The worst are the 'firsts'. The first time you are going to church, but are standing in your living room dazed because you feel you are forgetting something and realize that you aren't. There is no diaper bag or pumpkin seat; no worry that you have enough diapers or remembered to return the dirty sack to the diaper bag after you washed it. The time you pause as the YMCA nursery worker walks by and you want to ask if she is looking for you, but realize that she is not. Then more sadness as the thought hits that you will not be able to pick him up from the nursery to take him home.When you are leaving for work and catch yourself looking for the pump bag. The first time you walk into the room where your water broke. They are a joy that you remember and a horrible realization that this nightmare never ends. The worst is that there will come a day that there will be no more firsts, no more new pictures to look into the past.
I went to the Maryland Farms YMCA on a fire alarm. Deserted, it was very routine. As I trudged through the basement, I found myself by the door leading out to the pool and the Mommy and Me locker room. I can see him in his little fish swim trunks as I carry him out the door in my arms, his sister Emily jumping across the hot pavement. We went twice this year when he was a newborn. Once we laid under the umbrellas and watched his Sister swim with the Swings, Gary patiently dealing with a little girl who was both daring and afraid. I loved holding Perry Bryce on my chest as he dozed. I remember thinking, while he curled up in a little ball, that it was probably one of those memories I'd like to keep forever. Another time with my Mom, we all waded into the pool and Perry relaxed in the water, his blue eyes staring up in utter trust with no fear in them. I could hold him afloat with the tips of my fingers barely brushing his body and he would lazily kick his legs. He seemed to like the power of movement it gave him as I let his little legs propel him. I wondered if it was like floating in the womb. Is it what it felt like to him as I swam laps while he was safely inside?
I hesitated at the door to the locker room. I knew that this would be even harder. Every Mother with a nursling knows all the hidden places where you can hide. They become pit stops, anything to avoid a toilet. After you are done, and your child is grown, you look back whistfully on a time when they were so tiny that you were their everything. These spots become little bright spots as you hurry around with a toddler that jog your memory to 'back then'. Now I had all the bittersweetness, but I knew he should still be here. I remembered the little pack n play inside, the changing room with a small bench and a diaper station. The way he would snuggle afterwards and try to curl up tinier to sleep in my arms as I rushed out so his Sister could go back to the pool.
For a second I thought about all those other times spent hiding out in a bathroom stall and I was mad. It might not have bothered him, but I wished more of his brief time had been spent somewhere else, instead of hiding from people so prudish or narrow minded they couldn't handle the sight of a nursing cover.
I used this anger. I started towards the door, and then the alarm silenced. That first will have to wait for another time.
I know that in the following shift, after everyone is asleep, I will leave the TV on. I will search frantically through the L drive. Then for the first time, I will see the pictures from the Public Safety Day. I will probably cry with the TV droning over me. When I stop, I will send them to my home email address to squirrel away in computer folder that has become the last of Perry (when you have lost someone you love, the past becomes incredibly important to you because you no longer have a present or a future, at least for your lifetime). I will log off and sit in the recliners for a few more hours. Then when I am worn out enough from the numbing TV (realizing it is baseball and I don't even know the teams) and from the 3 miles I ran earlier, I will finally click off the TV and creep into the bunk room. And perhaps I will be able to sleep.