cafe mama

finding magic every day

losing grace . december 13 . 2007-

people who bring order and chaos
The only people to whom I am expressly not writing this blog are certain of my in-laws. Why? Because they use my words, often out of context, to dig up dirt on me, and by association, my husband. No one cares about this dirt except other members of the family. So it swirls around like water in a clogged sink, angry and poisonous, sticky and yet bound by its own porcelain borders, sometimes splashing out into my life in the messiest of ways.

So the thing that I really want to write about, today, is clogged up inside me. It has to do with Jonathan, and as graceless and disappointed as I feel toward him today, he does not deserve to be soaked in that turgid liquid. Shame on those who would make a bad situation worse; who would find reason to spread anger and hate in an already tragedy-laced family. You do not need any more woe, you do not need any more daggered words, you need love and compassion and grace. You need what I do not have today.

Even writing this, however, means that I do have it, for the moment, grace to accept a husband who is trying a little wildly to yank himself out of an addictive past engendered by both nature and nurture, grace to somehow work at creating order in chaos that only expands with every bottle of wine, every phone call from a sibling, every missed opportunity to add a number to his sober days. We seem to have gotten offtrack somehow, and we must get back through agony and heartache and aloneness.

In solitude, however, is order. Everett's wonderful developmental pediatrician (she was once a nun, her voice is like a travel-worn angel's) has prescribed, among other things, order. He is anxious, she says, and he needs us to "scaffold" him with love and quiet and organization. I have spent nearly my entire state tax kicker at IKEA, buying wonderful things, bins and shelves and jars and a hanging chair (she said to call it a "loving chair" but I want to call it the "peaceful chair" and I shall). She has given us so many things to do, the hardest of which is "co-regulating." Another word for "grace."

But I keep losing it, my grace, sometimes ending up so angry and lost in a spiral of disappointment that I cannot look for it. I come back in the dark to wash dishes, to pick up Funyuns (no!) and knotted post-partum hair and out-of-place train tracks from the floor, to send one more broken remote-controlled car to the giveaway pile on the porch, to send children out to the yard to run.

Tonight I will send Jonathan back to the place-that-would-make-things-better, I will once again gain my quiet and control, I will use a vacation day to make order, not Christmas cookies or crafty gifts. I will put stuffed things in boxes and make bookshelves whose only contents are books that I want to read. I will put aside everything but my deep breaths and my mantras and I will start in a corner and spread my order, bit by bit like nearly-invisible dots making a pointillist artwork of my messy, graceless life.

paying the bills

read my previous post . dulles hat for the babies . december 13 . 2007