I immediately felt guilty. And I mean, bad guilty. Like wanting to pull over on the side of the freeway and apologize guilty. Except that Abe didn't completely stop with the yelled, "huh?!"s. He just whispered them, which continued to annoy me. I apologized when we got home. So did he.
But I was still frazzled, coming apart at the seams, as they say. I felt like a weakling. I kept reminding myself of all the military families whose spouses are in harm's way for months at a time, with limited communication. One of those couples was at church Sunday, and I joined the standing ovation when he was recognized, tears welling up in my eyes whenever I see a soldier come home. At least my spouse was just one state away and available by phone and skype all day long. I felt like a sissy for wanting to crumble under the "demands" of one measly preschooler. So many have it harder.
Abe forgives easily. Though he'll probably still yell "huh?!" at you thousands of times in the car.
One night last week, before Ted got home, after I'd put Abe to bed, I sat at my computer with wine and hulu. I watched an episode of Parenthood. One of the characters missed out on the first five years of his son's life. In this one scene, the mother of his son sits him down on her couch and shows him the video of their son's birth. His eyes widen, amazed. He slowly smiles, not able to take his eyes off the screen. His eyes fill with tears.
My eyes widened. I couldn't take them from the screen either. The river rushed forth, down to my chest. I was suddenly filled with gratitude for so many things. Euphoria came bounding through my front door.
I wrote through the sobbing, something incoherent to Ted, edited a little bit here:
"And I stay up too late at night and think about my friends and my former students and my love for them, all these people in my life, like neighbors who stop by to test the cookies I'd made as a thank-you gift for the Ethiopian wife who stayed up all night making food for people she'd never met...and I'm overcome. The dam has broken, man. I'm sobbing now. My life is so blessed. It really is. What is going on? Just sitting here thinking about my life and the places I've been and the people I've been able to know and who bother to stay in touch with me, and I feel so full and so lucky and simply overcome with the love of the people in my life, my neighbors, my friends, people very far away who I may never see again...and yep, at THAT thought: all my friends I may not see again. When will I see them again?
Our daughter too, someone alive and yet to meet. And my heart is so huge and breaking and filled with these people that have simply broken me for my love for them. Such beautiful people in this world I know, who I love so. And when will we meet again? When?
I am overcome. My current life is a tedium of minutia yet I dream of big things and through it all I'm so thankful. And tearful. And really snotty."
This was a week ago today. Thursday, Ted came home. In the nick of time, I think, bearing coconut from a work-trip to Hawaii.