Today is my birthday. I thought I would be happy, but I’ve awakened to a bit of the blues today. They started sometime yesterday and have just gotten worse every few hours. I’m struggling with me issues today. I’m sure it’s all normal, and I’m hoping we blow through today so I can get on with it.
I don’t feel like I’m going to get to do what I want to do for my birthday and it doesn’t feel very good having to nurture the new center of my universe today. I hate that that sounds so selfish and narcissistic. I hate that it sounds like I don’t really want to share the day with my daughter. I hate that I have anxiety about how this day will turn out because things feel so ridiculously unpredictable. I wish I didn’t feel this way, and I’m terribly sad that I do. #kickingmyselfwhileimdown
And I got email spam from a faux funeral home this morning. Yeah, no kidding #41isthenew21
Hope has already given me two drama free days. That’s right—no meltdowns since the epic, “No, The Furry One is not Kujo” confrontation. There’s been no back talk. There’s been no foot dragging on chores. There’s been compliance. There’s been giggling. There’s been sweetness and goodness, and on a trip to the library where we sat for an hour while we read magazines, I looked over at her and thought, “This is so nice.” Later she read me two books by Shel Silverstein. I hate Shel Silvertein, by the way, but I loved that she wanted to bond by reading aloud to me. We were happy.
And as much as I lived in the moments of the last two days; I can’t help feeling like I know I’m just borrowing time from six months from now. Tomorrow school for Hope starts in earnest. We’ve got in-take with the new therapist on Wednesday. Thursday a school orientation program and Friday we head south for one of my best friends’ wedding. It’s a bit closer to what a “real” week might look like for us in terms of scheduling. And I’m anxious scared.
And I’m scared that things will fall apart today. All I want is to go to church, go to a nice brunch, maybe sneak off to the gym for an hour and cook for a few hours with my girl. But after years of seeing mom’s slug through birthdays, Mother’s Day, and other holidays as the low priority, I know that my expectations of being seen and heard today by Hope are pretty low. Hope is not yet able to devote capacity to other things besides surviving and adjusting, and I can see how much energy that’s taking. And I really don’t expect anything more from her right now. She’s struggling; several friends back home have stopped taking her calls, and one has apparently blocked our phone number. Although she didn’t meltdown, I can tell she’s having a very hard time with how her friends back in WA are handling her move.
So, I’m scared that the pins and needles reprieve that I’ve enjoyed for the last two days will end today. I’m fearful of the feelings of isolation that come with a meltdown; those feelings are the worst. It’s bad enough that you are dealing in the moment with something rotten, then it’s almost like you feel shame for the whole mess and you can’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t couldn’t dare breathe a word about how really rotten it all is to anyone. I’m sad because the anxiety about the inevitable reminds me of the pieces of my identity that I’ve had to set down, while I’ll build my family and try to shore it up into something strong and amazing. I’ve seen glimpses of that reality, but it also feels a bit like a mirage at the moment.
So today we will go to church and a nice brunch might turn into strawberry poptarts. I will go workout, because I absolutely emotionally and physically need to, and we will cook. But I won’t expect another smooth day. I’ll let the universe surprise me. I’ll try not to cry both happy and sad tears because they upset Hope so; she hates it when I cry. I typically start crying the moment we walk into church because the emotional release is so great. I’ll probably need to take something to keep that from happening today.
So this is my version of adoptive motherhood on my 41st birthday, my first birthday with Hope. Wishing, hoping, praying for a drama-free day with absolutely no effing expectation that it’s going to happen. Just trying to be thankful for the two early birthday freebies I’ve enjoyed, and secretly praying it’s the beginning of a pattern.