Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hospital Visits

Lately, I feel like I'm writing a letter to myself from the future. The abundance of hospital visits for my mother are a probable cause.

Your mother will die. You will buy a house. You will have more children. It isn't a matter of being happy, though you are for the most part.

But more: your hands will begin to age first. You notice it most while washing the dishes in the morning, studying the wrinkles that settle between your fingers while water splashes into the drain.  With the loss of your mother and the birth of another child, you drop all hobbies; or rather: latest hobbies include crying in the bathroom, making a sport of choosing outfits and dressing in the dark to see the results in the full-length mirror at the end of the hall, discovering what you can accomplish with a toddler perpetually seated in crook of arm with infant strapped to your chest (cook dinner, pee, get in and out of bed, fold laundry, eat most meals). You will stop remembering dreams. You will stop being able to write. You will make half-hearted attempts at registering for night school classes.

With having Oliver, I would like to say that there haven't been any negative changes, but I would be lying. I have acquired a visceral reaction to awful things and find that I can no longer watch certain content on movies and TV (murder, children in danger, extended tension); I change the station on the radio when NPR is reporting on natural disaster (bodies washing ashore in Japan, naked babies in Haiti). I conjure the worst possible scenarios while lying in bed with Oliver, waiting for his breathing to change signalling his sleep. I've never been so vulnerable.