Monday, January 15, 2007

The constant rain isn't helping, dammit

Ang asked: How/why did you get into blogging? Good question, and one I'm not sure I could have answered until last week. I was looking through past entries to see when I got Charlie and got caught up reading about the month he was so sick. I'd forgotten a lot of the details--all the tests he went through, how long he was in the hospital, and so on. The entries reminded me, too, how frantic with worry I'd been and how supportive friends were. So I'd have to say being able to look back and relive events and feelings is part of the attraction of blogging/journaling.

So why don't I just keep a paper journal? I think because I need to know others out there hear me and, perhaps, understand. When I've kept a paper journal in the past, expressing myself privately wasn't completely satisfying--it was a bit like yelling into an empty canyon and getting only a faint echo. I knew how I felt, but did anyone else? An online journal makes me feel less alone and reminds me I'm not the only one who's ever felt a certain way.

Lisa said: Anyway I wanted to know what kind of animal you'd be if you could be anything? This answer isn't original, I'm sure, but I'd probably choose to be a cat. Cats can be moody and difficult and still be pampered and adored. What's not to love about that? I could get into their hedonistic, lazy nature, and I'm a big fan of frequent naps, too. Could I skip the killing of small rodents and birds, though? Ick!


I think that's it for the questions, but let me know if I skipped one. I'm a little scatter-brained these days because of the worrying. To be truthful, I'm becoming a basket case, and I hope to hell I snap out of it soon. Yesterday Daniel applied online to two colleges that would require living in a dorm--away from ME, in other words. Then, to top it off, he grabbed a trash bag and started tossing piles of junk that had been cluttering up his room. When I took some towels upstairs, I happened to glance into the trash bag. To my horror, I saw all the Godzilla figures he used to collect sitting on top of the pile. It looked like he was throwing away practically everything he played with as a kid, and I couldn't help seeing it as a symbol of getting rid of his childhood. I was reading too much into it, I know, but I'm a big ol' mass of irrationality right now.

I told Daniel there might be some things I'd like to save, and he said impatiently, "Look, Mom, it's just junk! I can't hang on to everything." OK, good point (and who's the adult here?), but does he want to discard his entire life before this year? So I did what any obsessed, crazy mother would do and hauled the bag out of the trashcan after he'd thrown it away. I sat on the back steps, sorting through the stuff, and came across the wooden triceratops skeleton we put together when he was 5. And I promptly burst into tears. I remembered how excited he was while we worked on it, chattering away about what a triceratops liked to eat and how it protected itself with its tail spikes. When the skeleton had dried, he ran to place it on the shelf in his room, letting out a roar as he made it head-butt the stegosaurus skeleton we'd finished a few weeks earlier.

And then I found the lump of coal from the Titanic's engine room that I'd sent away for as a birthday present when he turned 7 and the letter I wrote him on his 17th birthday, telling him how being his mother had made me a better person . . . and I fell apart. I'm sure I looked like a crazy person, sobbing over a bag of trash in the drizzling rain. (Good thing it was too damp for any of my neighbors to be outside.) I know, I know. He's almost 18 and all he can think about is getting away from home and starting an exciting new life. Of course he still loves me, but his home and his family aren't the center of his world anymore. I can't make him feel guilty for growing up; that's not fair to him, and I don't want to be that person. I'm not ready for this next step, though, and right now, I can't see past it. I feel as though I'm going to be sitting on those back steps in the rain forever, longing for something that's in the past and clutching a little wooden dinosaur skeleton.