Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Dark Days

Keeper of the Seagulls

I just finished reading The Hunger Games series and as my husband and I were joking about those first few months after E was born, The Dark Days came to mind.  There was no nuclear war or widespread annihilation of a population, but those first several months with a toddler and a newborn were tough.  Ok, they were pretty awful.  My heart trouble, our cramped and tiny house, and L being too young to really understand that this baby was here to stay all created a situation that still gives me a touch of the PTSD, to be honest.  We moved, sold our old house and were down to one car.  I love my children more every day, but I never want to go back to the way I felt then.  I was tired and overwhelmed and even though I wasn't, I felt alone.

It's almost two years later, and we have survived, just as everyone said we would.  We found a bigger house, E started sleeping through the night, L got used to his sister and his new bed.  Things are certainly still hectic, but I just feel like I am dealing with it better than I was.  It's like we're just on the edge of finally feeling like we might actually have it together.  I only have 3 classes left in grad school, I finally got a promotion at work, and the kids are thriving. We still have a mountain of boxes to go through, but it's a smaller mountain than it was.  That overwhelmed feeling is still there, but not as often.

One thing that I have slowly started to get back, is myself.  I don't know why, but it occurred to me the other day that the last 6 years have changed me beyond anything I ever thought possible.  Marriage, career, and kids:  those three things have molded me into someone who is completely different than the music teacher that wrote lesson plans every night and never missed happy hour.  Some of that is good.  Most of the changes are positive, but I find myself missing other things.  When the Spring semester ended, I picked up my nook and read a non-school book for the first time in years.  Yes, years.  I can't believe I ever stopped.  I immediately fell into my old habits of staying up until midnight telling myself, just one more chapter, over and over again.  I joined Good Reads and I think I've read about six books in the break between semesters.  It feels so good to have something in my brain besides schedules, meals plans, and HR related topics. My friend Maura also pointed out that it's important for the kids to see me reading.  Of course, they really see me staring at what must look like a giant iPhone to them, but by the time they are teenagers, I'm sure my nook will evoke laughter similar to what the 1990s giant cell phones do now.

My next wish was to join a book club, but I know that to have one would mean that I would have to do all of the work.  I learned the hard way through the parents group I started that people are more than willing to show up and less willing to make an effort to keep something going.  That's ok, though, because most of the people that I would like to talk to about books are online!  I decided to start up the old book blog again and use it as a place to write about the books I read and give people a chance to give me their thoughts.  Maybe no one will read it, but at least I have a way to write about books that I truly love.  The first thing I want to do when I finish a book is discuss it with someone, but L and E have very little interest in dissecting character motivation.

My first post is about The Help.  Please visit it you've read it, or even if you haven't, because I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Glad things are looking up for you and that you have some "me time" if it is just for reading. I am the same more chapter, ok one more, just one more...

  2. I was thinking the same thing the other day. I shudder at the thought of going back to toddler/newborn days. I love the idea of newborn babies, but the lack of sleep is just too much.

    We're hitting our stride these days, too. Owen is more mobile and Colt is very self-sufficient. I've worked out a great schedule at work, getting a promotion next month. Boys are getting sick less (which helps A LOT). Sleeping is better. We're just...getting it. But it was a really, really tough year.

    I think the one thing I'm lacking is time and motivation to exercise. I'm reading more, caught up on my TV shows, and now making extra effort to get out with friends now and then. But exercise is the one thing I can't fit in yet. It's just far too much right now!

    Glad you're coming out of the fog, can't wait for you to be done with school!

  3. That one is next on my list--totally want to discuss books with you--I love reading as "me time". Glad you are feeling like the Dark Days are passing--amazing what a journey the past 6 years have been for you.

  4. Coincidentally, I just picked this up from hold at the library yesterday. I'm trying my hardest to read more, but my damn iPhone is such a distraction. Once I finish Two Kisses For Maddie I'm moving on to The Help so it might be awhile before I comment, but I will-I promise!