I’ve spent the last month-ish deep in the SADs. That’s the best explanation for it – which isn’t to say that it would be irrational to feel sunk down deep in muck and mire with the world simultaneously on fire and on the edge of a pandemic, with every minute shift in public opinion in an unending primary being reported in excruciating detail and to the detriment of probably the most competent and prepared candidate in American history, with rampant corruption laid bare but unpunished, with people being unfairly struck from the voter rolls and bees dying and the lake reclaiming the lakefront. In the same week, I talked to a friend about their divorce, and another about fears for their child, and another about a pregnancy much wanted, and another about the failing health of a loved one, and another about workplace challenges, and the weight of it, while a burden I’m honored to carry, is all too much in a season already so bleak.
And also: my baby is 18 months, and 18 months feels halfway to A Real Boy, and so every night I hold him close and bury my nose in his curls and cover his face in kisses and tell him, again and again, how precious and loved and wanted he is, how lucky we are to have him, how grateful I am to be his mama. This season, the one of his toddlerhood, feels all too fleeting, except for the moments when he is simultaneously stealing apples from the fridge to roll them across the kitchen floor and dropping onion skins in the cat’s bowl and tossing toys in the trash. I scooped him up after a tumble the other morning and the smear of blood from his mouth on my shoulder was a visceral reminder of his fearful fragility.
And also: my big kid is five and a half and is every day full of surprises. He’s obsessed with Latin and soccer and some days wants to be a Math Detective and others tells me about how his baby will go to daycare so that he and his wife can go to work. Some days he is an emotional maelstrom and others he reads my moods and surprises me with pictures and letters that I tuck into spots where they will catch my eye in the moments when I need to see past my 28 open tabs and stacks of paperwork and unwashed coffee mugs to remember the things at the heart of it all.