It shouldn’t be this easy. I sometimes complain about things that are perceived as hard, but really it’s pretty damn easy. And it shouldn’t be, you know? The easiness of it, the utter effortlessness in which things happen now makes me anxious. There should be a shoe. And it should be dropping, or it should’ve dropped some time ago. But it doesn’t drop, and so I don’t trust it, any of it, her, me, him, life. And yet somehow, I do, I have to.
Three years ago it was not this easy. Not even remotely. It was the most opposite of easy as anything has ever been. And I can never forget the heartbreak, and not just one heartbreak, a thousand heartbreaks that happened over and over again. It was the thing that never made me trust that anything could ever be considered normal ever again. I should try to block those mistrusting associations, but I can’t. I can never forget because in order to honor my son, I feel compelled to remember. In fact, the little things I can’t remember feel like little heartaches themselves. Certain medication names, surgery names have started to fade when I try to recall them. They come slow if they come at all. I still have all his records, I could look it up if I really wanted to, but that’s not the point. I feel haunted by memories of him and I feel haunted by the things I can’t remember about him. It all stays with me especially when it doesn’t stay with me.
I especially remember when I started to trust that things would be normal, and that’s exactly when normal disappeared from our lives forever, never to return again, replaced by uncertainty and heartache, and tears and exhaustion and everything that came after was definitely not normal.
But now? Now we’re in a new kind of normal, a normal where I’m finally trusting that if I fall asleep I’ll find that tiny body still in its crib, still breathing. I didn’t have this normal and I can’t trust this new normal. I’m starting to, but trust is hard-won. I still don’t trust myself to be the mother she needs me to be properly, because I still feel insecure in the mother I was with him. Was I enough for him? Was I really all that he needed me to be? He’s not around for me to ask him and get a proper answer.
So I don’t trust anything, not really. Given our history with car rides, it took me forever to relinquish my guard in the back seat next to her car seat. Chris had to coax me into switching seats. The anxiety I felt the day I finally sat in the front seat was crushing. It got easier. It’s still not simple though. Not really. Taking her anywhere by myself was terrifying, like anxiety attack terrifying. How on earth should I be expected to this on my own? I never could before, was never expected to before, and yet I did. Now it feels easy, not second-nature, not like breathing, but easy. At nights, I put her to sleep in the bedroom, alone. I listen to her via a baby monitor. This was not even in the realm of possibility once and now it’s commonplace in my life, it’s normal, it’s easy.
It sucks that it’s easy. I don’t want it to be easy. I don’t want it to be comfortable, because that’s when that other shoe will drop and our wonderful, incredible normal of now will become a new, much harder normal. I can’t trust easy. I can’t trust comfortable. I still worry that I can’t trust myself, although its getting easier to trust myself to enjoy it. That too was hard-won. But now, I see that smile, I hear that infectious giggle and I smile and giggle and feel alive and happy, and loving this normal, loving it so much. I just want to trust that it will be here to stay.