Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dizzy & Light 

My wife is one of those steadfast people, the ones who soldier on through anything, and I admire her for it. It's one of the qualities I need in a family, and one reason I'm lucky she chose me. For though the constant blogging helps me center and reflect, I am flighty and anxious by nature, and cannot stabilize myself.

But we all have our off days, through no fault of our own. She gets dizzy spells sometimes when the weather changes, and today was pretty bad: I arrived home to find her in bed, trying hard to keep her head still while the kids swarmed around her.

We made it through evening, movie night and take-out chinese, but by bedtime the world turned sour and shaky again. Willow's been hit hard by the return to one-parent daytime normalcy after our long family vacation, and in the dark hours has started screaming for solo care from mama only -- which tends to wake the baby, thereby making mama inaccessible.

And from downstairs, as I closed the door to the basement laundry, I could hear my wife get stern, and then cold. And I knew she was desperate. You could hear it in her voice.

It's no fault to get frustrated in such scenarios, no matter how stable you are. The three year old middle-of-night mindset doesn't really grasp the causality of her actions; she's bright, but cannot be expected to own the cycle she creates no matter how much we lock her out in a vain attempt at sanity and long-term care for all. And what a cycle it is.

So tonight it was my turn to be the stable one, coming upstairs to remind Willow how precious she was while an exhausted and still-faint mama wandered off with the baby to put her to bed far too late for easy putdown.

It was, to be sure, a pure accident of timing and tenor that earned me tonight's sighs and heart-lightening halfsleep babble of love and affection where last night, post-nightmare, her sister awakened and now screaming behind a mama-closed door, Willow screamed at me that she did not love me when I tried the same strategy. Some things, parents learn, can not be fixed, but merely tolerated.

But sometimes it works.

And if I am able to be the center of the whirlwind even in these exceptional moments, given the allowance of daughter and chance, it is because Darcie has taught me to be me, and to be sane in the face of frustration. It is she that is precious, that we could not function as family without. It is she that still takes my breath away, and makes me dizzy and light, for no more reason than the realization that she loves me.

It is that love that I give to my daughter, when she lets me.

May I never forget. May we never be alone without it.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:17 PM |

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