Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blogging Therapy: The Worst Day Ever

There was a moment that's been haunting me since last summer and I think if I write about it, get it out of my head and into the ether, it might help. The moment took place on a hot July day. Liam was dressed in a t-shirt, short little pants, and some beat up old hand-me-down shoes in need of retirement. I'd finally found an apartment to rent after weeks of couch surfing and was moving some boxes in a borrowed pick-up truck. I hadn't spent much time at home with the boys. My split with Erin was as amicable as they come, but things were tense so I kept my distance. I'd missed them terribly and felt relief that I had a place I could take them where I could spoil myself rotten with their company.

I didn't have a lot of stuff to move. I had hoarded dozens of cases of empty glass from work, all of which had been slated to go in the recycling bin. It was too old for commercial winemaking, but it passed the quality control standards for my home winemaking project with flying colors. I had to take the boxes to storage and Liam was "helping" me load them, the way three-year-olds do, by climbing all over whatever it is you're working on, but he wasn't his usual chipper self. I tried talking with him to figure out what was bothering him, but with his pretty severe speech delay he only had a few words mastered, and that day he wasn't using any of them. But he didn't have to. The look on his face told the whole story; he was clearly heartbroken. He had been processing everything that had been going on with Erin and I over the past few months, maybe even longer. That day it was all culminating with him seeing his daddy pack his things to leave the only home he'd ever known. He didn't understand.

To this day I don't know why I felt compelled to take pictures. I still can't look at them, or even think about them, without having to go sit alone for a while. I think there are some painful things we don't want to forget.

I'm not an emotional masochist. I like to write this blog as a record of all the fun and ridiculous joys of parenthood because they abound and I don't want to forget a single moment. But I'm new to this parenting thing and so naive. My missteps can hurt my children and the last thing any decent parent wants is to hurt their children. It's a terrifying prospect to me that we're the ones most capable of doing so.

My break-up was the right move for me, but it came with an unavoidable consequence that didn't fully impact me until I saw it so clearly on my son's face. I know it won't seem like such a big deal to some. No one died and there was no tragic accident or horrible injustice committed against humanity. But for whatever reason that moment was like a poisonous bite that won't heal, and flares up every time you scratch it.

But, if you follow the blog at all, you know there are plenty of "salving" moments. In fact, any problem the boys have with my break-up probably exists only in my head at this point. All it took for Liam to recover was for him to quickly realize that daddy wasn't going anywhere. Sure there's the half of the week I'm not with them, but when I'm with them I'm WITH THEM. In fact the only time I'm not in their faces when we're together is during the occasional private potty break, and even those brief moments are exploited for their maximum fun potential. Just this weekend one such moment was interrupted by the loud "clunk, clunk, clunk" of Finn seizing the opportunity to snatch a full glass of OJ off the breakfast table and try to wear it as a shoe. I jumped up and chased him in desperation, not so much because of the sticky mess he was making, but because the downstairs neighbors' late night obscenity screaming session had run long and they were probably trying to angrily sleep in. Liam was so happy to witness the whole scene he peed his pants. I think we're all gonna be fine.


  1. Yes, you are going to be fine. Your kids have two parents who love them, and who aren't at each other's throats or dragging each other down at every opportunity.

    1. Thank you Bill. It's been great to hear everyone's feedback. Truly it's been a huge comfort.

  2. I like your all information about worst day and your blog is so nice.

    A long delayed second vlog