Although the weather's taken an upswing from the oppressive humidity of the past few days, it still feels like there's an extra 20 pounds of mist and drizzle covering my head. I've been fighting a cold the past week, taking anti-viral pills and a program of antibiotics in case it was strep throat so that Jack wouldn't get sick. I don't know if I succeeded: lately he's been very cranky, screaming as soon as he wakes up and wanting to be held every second of the day. It's physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, and as bad as it affects me, the Missus is suffering to the nth power.
As much as you see or hear about it, postpartum depression is striking how devastatingly it wraps its wings around someone. Constant tears and feelings of helplessness, of feeling like you're a horrible mother, that you're somehow hurting your child even though he appears to be perfectly normal in every respect. How do you counter that? I've been trying different approaches at different times, attempting to take some of the chores off her hands, doing all the feedings on the weekends so she can get some uninterrupted sleep, and trying to put things in perspective for her.
Sometimes it works for a while, sometimes it doesn't.
This weekend we're going to a wedding out on the Island; I'm hoping the time away can be spent dancing, laughing and generally having fun, anything to take her mind off things for a bit. We haven't been able to find any type of rhythm for ourselves: every moment for her is spent either taking care of him or, when he's asleep, taking care of things around the house. No time for just taking a nap, reading a book, enjoying the summer weather. And there's the conundrum. It's not so getting her some free time, it's making her do something for herself with it.
A few days ago Jack managed to stay asleep long enough for the two of us to share some snacks and watch THE TIGER AND THE SNOW, the latest romantic dramady from Roberto Begnini. The movie was okay, but the time spent laughing, rubbing her feet and watching her smile and laugh and we talked and chatted while the film played was wonderful.
Over the past year it feels like everything I've held about myself has undergone a wicked tilt and spin. It's terrifying to be firmly confronted with the visage of "normal" adulthood, and the loss of the feeling that you're no longer a young "guy" but more often than not a "Mister" to everyone around you (who seem younger and younger , while the people you always considered as "adults" now seem like your peers). I don't even know if that makes sense. I just know that right now much of what I've always thought of myself is changing, and will continue to change until I feel satisfied everything is going to hold together, and that both my wife and son rest knowing that this family isn't just going to stay together (which is a given) but will be cemented by the bonds we've always held as out standard: love, peace, and happiness.
We keep swimming, not content to merely tread water.
* I know the title of the post makes no sense. This was originally going to be about me and how I've just felt tired and bored lately. Obviously it truned into something else.
** I still haven't explained the title. It was a combination of two song off the self-titled record by The Mistakes, featuring Mike Keneally on guitar and vocal, and which have been playing in my head all morning. So there.