Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I dream of eggplant (and other stuff)

Pieces of my past come to me at odd moments lately, as if they are trying to teach me something about my current life.

The current life. Lots of good stuff; Nic played wiffle ball with his cousins at a party on Sunday. Doesn't seem like that big a deal, and in most places and in most families, it isn't. But in mine, it's a huge deal. Nic interacted and played like any other kid....and that, my friends, is a first.

I take joy in these small things. I understand if people don't get my enthusiasm. But, I guess in light of the fact that I, and my boys, have suffered rejection in so many ways the past two months that it's with mixed feelings that I am writing what I'm writing. I've always prided myself on being positive and upbeat, but lately, the face I've been keeping on is just that. I'm worn out. I'm tired to the point of tears. And those things that I depend on to keep me going, well, they just aren't there.

So my mind's been taking trips down memory lane when I am alone in the car. This morning, it was August 2004, and Nic uttered a rare spontaneous phrase.

"He's standing!"

The he in question is Gabriel, barely 10 months old, his big grin revealing all four of his teeth, his fluffy curly strawberry blond hair waving in the breeze, as are his arms, giggling, triumphant and barefoot on the blacktop of our driveway.

I reflect on all the comfort he's been to me over the years.

Another moment: mom, now younger than I am, preparing to make fried eggplant. My sister and I join her, her only comment that I remember was that my dad really enjoyed it. We ate it as quickly as my mom fried it up, hushed, reverent, as if we were performing a ritual of memorial. Which, looking back, I think we were.

So, what do these moments in the past have to do with the here and now?

I don't know. I think they are to remind me that life is still good.

But I am struggling. Although I am working hard to make sure Nic's transition to middle school is successful, worry that my best efforts still won't be good enough haunts me. I'm reminded almost constantly that my best efforts aren't enough--and it's been hard for me to stay sunny and keep smiling.

My best efforts there--not sure how that's working out.

I'll keep trying, and I'll keep looking for that silver lining. And keep hoping for the best.

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