Thursday, September 18, 2008

A year in a day

smile morning, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

This morning wasn't smiley.

It wasn't filled with anything the light of day is supposed to bring: New hope, second chances, clean slates.

Some mornings are like that; darker than the night.

It got me thinking about how many times I've felt the surge of uncertainty wandering about on tiptoes. How many times have my highs been higher and my lows lower?

Am I going crazy? This time last week I felt content? Or did I? Am I just remembering it wrong?

See? Crazy.

I could go back, dust off the journals of my youth as others have -- mostly trying to poke fun of their sophomoric style and melodramatic contents -- in search of an origin. But really the thought doesn't interest me in much the same way class reunions don't interest me: I didn't really like myself back then. I don't really care to spend anymore time in the awkward light of my youthful self.

I am a different me now. At least I think I am. I am mostly content.

Yet I still write it down: The high notes and the lows, the tones of the mundane; thinking maybe something will be important. Maybe one thing will connect all the others.

And this thought made me realize just what it is writing this way allows me to do. It allows me to back and wade through the waves of thoughts as they happened. Lay it all out as if an electrocardiogram and chart the peaks and valleys.

Something to suggest a problem. Maybe even a diagnosis.

I tinker.

And as such, I decided to read back over a year in a day. The first year I jump this blog from the Web site of simple paragraphs and bits and pieces of Annabel's first two years.

Reading backward --as I hope my children will do one day to understand who I was or what I proclaimed to be -- it occurs to me now that these ramblings might teach me things about myself I might not wish to know.

Things that suggest a pattern.

I started this "blog" on the last day in March, 2005. I'd used up all the low-cost space I could at my sad little Web site on Tripod, and jumped here after realizing the convenience of this different, more interactive platform.

The posts were generally the same as the Web site had been: brief, no more than a paragraph or two in length, and matter of fact. I wrote blandly of what we'd done that day as if I was a skilled mother "marveling" at the amazing creature that was my daughter. The feelings were as honest and raw as my first crush turned crushing.
But it wasn't really my voice.

Soon into the foray, Annabel got sick and had to be hospitalized. I spent days in the hospital by her bedside. The worst of it in the emergency room before we knew the illness was caused by a simple virus that would pass. But still – Hospital; Four days; Meeting families in the hallway at night whose children weren't as lucky.

She was 15 months old.

After she was born and up until then, I'd had some strange feeling that everything would be alright. I'd never been a cheery person, mind you, but after she was born I felt as if it was all going to work out fine.

A short time after the hospital stay, that good feeling disappeared.

For the next few months, I tried to claw it back but it was gone. I tried to ignore the rivers of unease that flowed through me; address it only randomly and vaguely. This too shall pass. It all does.
That "good feeling" never did return, but I was able to keep the bad feeling from going over my head.

I wrote about the words, the things she said and did. I wrote about the moments that I knew I wouldn't remember on my own. I rarely put myself in the picture. It was all about her.

Silas is 15 months old tomorrow.

He is right where Annabel was when things seemed to get so far away from me.

I’m reading a year in a day, and hoping to recognize myself. Hoping to answer my own questions of who I thought I was; who I am. Hoping to find a trace of something I didn't know I was leaving behind.

Something to make me smile tomorrow.