Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coming Home

I should warn you that you are not about to read the post that your think you are about to read.

Not. At. All.

There are times in our lives where our bodies have to host such conflicting emotions that it hardly seems possible that our skin can withstand the strain of keeping them all in.  This is one of those times.  From the greatest joy to the deepest sorrow in a matter of a few moments and then back and forth again and again.

We brought Max home on Saturday.  We were so happy to be home (still are, really)!  He did a great job on the plane and Jason and I couldn't stop looking at each other and then at him while thinking, "At last. Our family is together at last."

But for us, the word family has many meanings.

Which is why, when we learned on the car ride home from the airport that our beloved dog, Bella, had been struck by a car and killed during our absence that our joyful moment was shattered.

The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.

Every night Max rocks himself before sleeping -- a sign of nervousness, pain, and a visceral reminder of what his life has been up to this point.  We (well, ok, mostly Jason) go to him and rub his back and try to tell him that he is not alone in the world.

I rock myself to sleep these days too.  And Jason puts his arms around me and we cry.

Too many emotions to process.  The first full day home -- what should have been simply one of the happiest days of my life -- was simultaneously one of the most painful.  I think that to our dying day, Jason and I will wish we could have been more "there" for Max.  We tried.  We really tried.  And Max -- well he is such a sweet and giggly little guy that it should have been easy.  And yet each one of us had to take a few moments throughout the day to fall apart.  It has been three days and I can manage through the daytime now for the most part, but when the little guy is in bed...well, that's another thing entirely.

I know there are plenty of people who won't get this.  But I also know that there are plenty who will.

And so I don't quite know where to go with this post.  I want to tell you all about Max.  I want to tell you about his giggly laugh and the way he follows Jason around the house.  But I also want to tell you about Bella.  I want to tell you about how she came into the world practically on my lap and the way she would fall asleep on the back of the couch with her ball still in her mouth.

To me, those stories are equally important.  And so I think I'm going to stop here for a moment.  You'll get both of those stories.  Soon.  But I have to write them separately.

But the upshot of the week is this: we went to Russia as a family of 5, for a few days we were a family of 6, and now we are a family of 5 once more.  

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could give you a hug... actually two, or like 15. First, I am so, so sorry about Bella. That just plain sucks. Second, I just want to say to be gentle on yourself, as you learn to parent Max. I think I wasted a lot of myself in the first few months feeling guilty-- guilty for not being totally present enough, guilty for not enjoying parenting more, guilty for not feeling attachment all the time. Everything WILL come together.