Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not all gloom and doom

You know, I think a lot of people don't realize that G and I have a pretty good life. They envision us living under a pall of sadness, crying all the time, and we don't -- we do errands and see movies and go shopping and goof around and chill out at home just like everyone else. G is a normal, happy kid who is involved in activities and has playdates and sleepovers with her friends. Our house is a normal house with school fliers on the fridge and family photos scattered around. Sometimes there are moments when we're reminded that other people's families are different -- I'm thinking of a recent letter from the PTA that moved me to send an e-mail pointing out that not all kids have two parents at home -- but those moments don't come every day, or even every month.

Do we miss P? Of course we do. (Well, I do; I'm not sure how clearly G remembers him anymore, although she does make a point of marking his birthday on the calendar every year.) Do I wish he were still here? Absolutely, especially when something unexpected goes wrong, or I want to share something that only he would understand. But I've figured out how to make things run pretty smoothly most of the time, flat tires and cat vomit notwithstanding, and if you could watch us on a hidden camera, all you would see is us living an ordinary life, with an ordinary mix of fun and stress and boredom and excitement.

I don't think people get that - not so much the ones I interact with every day, but the friends and relatives I don't see very often. They imagine that our life is still as grim and joyless and desperate as it was just after P died, but it isn't, and it hasn't been for a while. And I wish I could help them understand that it isn't as bad as they think, and they don't need to worry, but I don't know how. Maybe there is no way.

On a concluding note, here are G's new Halloween toe socks. You can only be so miserable in a pair of socks like these:

2 comments:

Alicia said...

So I wonder which is more irritating?

Those who assume that we live under a cloud of relentless despair? Or those who assume that everything is just hunky-dory now?

I just wrote about the latter in my blog, and how infuriating that can be. But the former, which you wrote about, is also hard to stomach.

"They" just can't get it, can they?

Vanessa said...

I think they're both equally frustrating and there's no way to win. And of course it all can be different on any given day - you bump into someone who doesn't know and you have to explain, or the school assigns one of those bloody awful "My Family" projects, and then you feel rotten again. Although I will say that I bounce back from those experiences a lot faster now.