I'm calling a "win" for this week. I tried to step up my game in the Mom department by coming up with some fun activities to do with my little man. We explored a few new playgrounds... we went out for lunch (at one of those places with a built-in indoor playground that I NEVER would have gone to when Gavin was alive... and now I know why. Yuck!)... we had fun in the yard... and yesterday we tried another indoor bounce park called "Bounce Town." (They even served a snack halfway through!)
Brian had a lot of fun at Bounce Town, but there was one bummer. There was a group of young kids there - but they were in their own groups. They never sought to include him, as much as he tried to entice them with his charm and his "COME OVER HERE!" screams. On the way home he announced that he liked "Bounce U" better (where we were last week) because there was a group of boys that completely included him like he was one of them. I totally over-think this and really shouldn't relate this at all to Gavin. If Gavin were alive, we wouldn't be doing many activities like this - and if we did, Gavin wouldn't have been able to participate much at all. We'd be in the same boat with Brian looking for someone to play with.
My over-thinking can really do a number on my emotions if I let it.
I'm also super proud of something else...
I RETURNED DISHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!
I also wrote a few more thank you notes and I made a good dent in the dining room sifting through the funeral items and gifts. And in an impossible and emotional task, I chose ten photos (about) from each year of Gavin's life to give to the videographer. Choosing such a small amount of photos was pure torture for me, let me tell you. And going through the photos was both painful and wonderful. Like remembering this one, when I was so pregnant with Brian and life was still completely centered around Gavin.
The videographer that taped the funeral (which I'll be getting soon and placing in a post for those who'd like to see it) is also making a "Life Story" type of video about Gavin's life. She had so many incredible ideas to make it a very powerful video... but it involved me asking people to be in it and coming up with a theme and, basically... it would have required me to think. In a move of which I am both SHOCKED and proud of - I finally said, "I can't." I don't often say that. I'm a yes girl...sometimes to a fault. I promise too much and then stress about delivering. But this time I threw in the towel (as much as I would love a video like she is envisioning) and said "I just can't..." And I'm okay with that. It's actually a relief. It's one less thing off my list of 99 things and it just has to be okay.
This afternoon, Brian and I met my friend Drew and his son, AJ, at a nearby playground. The boys had fun and, when it came time to go, Brian was not happy. He didn't want to go home. The entire car ride home he reminded me that he didn't want to leave... that he wanted to stay... that he didn't want to go home right now... and then it morphed into when he did get home he wanted to ride his bike... and swim... and so on and so on. By the time we pulled into the garage I felt an epic meltdown coming on. Not Brian... mine.
I told Brian we needed to go inside to have a little break and then we could go back outside. He started to complain a bit and then I turned around - a single tear streaming down my cheek. He got very quiet and knew that this was serious. I told him that Mommy needed to go inside and cool off and take a break... and he was just going to have to be a good friend and be nice to me. That I was doing the best I could to make sure he was having fun but he can't expect me to say yes to everything. Sometimes Mommy has to say no - and he has to just deal with that. (I immediately felt horrible for this guilt trip) He dropped his head and said, "Ok, Mama." We went inside...I turned the TV on Disney Junior...and I went into the kitchen and quietly let it out.
(Edited to add: Brian does hear no. But truthfully, I rarely have to say it with the force I did today. He's typically a go with the flow kind of kid and he's pretty easy to convince that "Plan B" is just as fun. I don't say yes to everything - I swear.)
I needed a moment. I'm trying very hard to be there for Brian, push through my arthritis pain, deal with pregnancy exhaustion, tackle my to-do's which truly only I can do, and grieve. There are days where I feel I fail miserably - when the TV is on more than I'd like or I say yes to extra snacks because in that moment I just don't care. Then there are days when I don't and I hold onto those to stay sane. In the middle of my meltdown, the garage opened. Ed was home early. I tried to calm myself down to greet him, but it was futile. I spilled it all - told him about my anxiety - cried and cried.
He said he'd clear his calendar for the rest of the afternoon and stay with Brian if I wanted to get out of here. Normally, I'd say "No, that's ok!" because I'd feel bad putting him out - especially on a work day!! But this time... I said yes. I grabbed my keys, kissed them and went nowhere fast. Out there alone I could breathe - and cry - and breathe - and spend some money in Target. (If you're wondering what I bought at Target - maternity clothes! I have a very serious and official looking baby bump and I want to stop freaking people out in public when I dramatically unbutton my pants and let out a big sigh of relief.)
I can't believe I said yes. But I'm glad I did. And I'm glad I have a husband who recognized that I needed a break.
This road is not easy... but I'm getting there. It feels like I'm getting nowhere...but I know I'm getting somewhere. And I know it will be ok when I arrive.