I can always tell when I haven't been either reading or writing. It's like my head gets so full of half formed thoughts and frustration and tired that I can't accomplish anything. Because reading is where I fill myself up - with ideas and joy and knowledge. I cry and laugh at books the way some people do at movies. It's my relaxation and catharsis all in one. And writing...well, writing is my way of ordering what's been going on in my life and in my head and heart.
Neither has been happening. Reading? Who has time to read? The days start early and end late. Three kids - it's less than some people and more than others - but overall, kids are just hard. There are other words you can throw in there: blessings, joy, happy, special, maternal, rainbows, unicorns, gum drop raindrops. But really, raising little people is hard.
And writing? The last few weeks might have been depressing for my more faithful followers.
Because the holidays were bittersweet. Great! And Blessed! But bittersweet. Watching Little Bit look around somewhat bewildered at all the lights and paper and TOYS caused a pang. Somewhere in the vicinity of my heart. I watched him and thought, they should be here. The gap that is always there between Diva and Little Bit seemed larger and emptier somehow with the Christmas tree in the corner.
Then I watched him take his first steps. He let go of his daddy and took one....two....plop! right into my lap. After watching him travel back and forth, wearing out his little legs and resembling nothing so much as a tiny drunk, I could - just for a minute - see them there with us. They should be here.
When I heard of someone's baby dying over New Year's, I wept for them. When I heard another family lost their child, I wished I had some comfort to offer. I listened to a friend rage against her child's illness.
It all piles up. Until it feels like my heart is in my throat. Until my eyes ache with the tears I don't have time to cry.
Joy and Sorrow can and do coexist quite peacefully. That, at least, is a lesson I've learned. Admitting to the Sorrow doesn't negate my joy. It just means that life, real life, is full of both.