Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Worlds Collide

This morning my nose had a giant collision with the back of Sadie's head. The blunt force trauma to my delicate nose set of a chain of reactions that I am still processing 7 hours later. It all happened so fast this morning as Sadie, Jeff and I were slowing easing into our morning. Once Sadie flung her head back at full force and happened to impact my nose, all the ease drained out of the morning. I did what any sane, sensory person would do: I started bawling my eyes out. It hurt so damn bad. Inexplicably, I grabbed my stomach, wondering if the baby was ok, even though I am pretty sure he resides many feet south of my nose.

I wasn't thinking clearly. I was just writhing and crying in pain. Through my tears I was trying to examine Sadie to be sure she was ok, but Jeff kept telling me she was fine. (I note here that one of Sadie's more enduring hobbies is to bang her head on any surface harder than a pillow, including hard wood, marble and tile. Pediatrician says it will pass. Not fast enough for me.)

So, I am sitting on the edge of the bed letting out a much-needed cry and Sadie starts to cry too, presumably because the whole thing was very upsetting for her, as well as confusing. Jeff started to take her out of the room, but I wanted her to stay with me because I didn't want her to think she was in trouble or being punished. So, we huddled up and cried and I started blubbering incomprehensible statements, such as, "I am a bad mom." It's not easy to get from an accidental nose bang to being a bad mom, but I got there. I got there very quickly, actually. No traffic on that road.

Later this morning when Jeff and I were debriefing the morning's traumas and dramas, he mentioned it was surprising to him that when my nose was hurting I came up with the idea that I am a bad mom. I suppose that was a bit of an exaggeration because it's easy for me to surmise that I am "bad" in some way, but the more I think about it, the more I see something deeper here.

It's a fact (as proven this morning) that Sadie and I will hurt each other. Sometimes it will be an accident. Probably not every time. But, if we are going to be close and part of a functional family, we will trigger each other and bump up against each other's wills and sometimes one of us may get hurt. Maybe both of us will get hurt. I really hate that I can't offer my children pain-free lives. Even knowing that having a pain-free life may not be good for anyone, I still want to give it to them. I certainly hate thinking that sometimes the pain in my children's lives will be caused by me. This morning's nose crusher incident was a giant tangle of all these intersecting wishes and beliefs that I hold very dearly. Specifically, I don't want to hurt my kids; I don't want my kids to hurt me; sometimes pain will be a part of the relationship; I don't want my hurt to upset my kids; I don't want to use pain in my children as an excuse to withdraw or be distant or withhold from them; I don't want to be afraid of intense emotions (mine or theirs), but sometimes I am; I don't want life to be messy, painful, snotty, confusing, and gnarly, but it is.

Thinking about it, I just feel very emotional. Not necessarily sad, though being out of control, which is the essence of being a parent, always makes me a little desparing. I feel awed by the power of emotion and how much it can affect me and Sadie in our young relationship. I feel very humbled by my own ugly thoughts and reactions to things and how I say all the time how much I want an intimate relationship with my family members, but when it's offered, I often times want to run for the nearest hill, which is no easy feat in the Midwest.

I also think that there is a lot of change in the air at my house. We have a nursery almost complete for Meatball. We cleaned out all of Sadie's baby clothes. The techtonic shift is underway and Sadie, no doubt, can feel it. We're headed into the last month of this pregnancy, which will preceed major change at our house. I don't know if Sadie can understand my words, but after particularly emotional exchanges (such as whenever I try to change her diaper), I tell her that it's a very emotional time and that we are all in this together. I remind her that no one is doing anything wrong, we're just experiencing a lot of emotion and intensity.

In the meantime, I have been told to ice my nose and buckle up... it may only get rougher from here.

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