Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finding Forty, Day 10; Snapshots

It's after 10 and I'm tired.   I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers up to my chin and sleep soundly until morning.   The likelihood of that happening is slim to none.   But I'm exhausted to my bones.   Never underestimate the draining powers of emotional stress.

Tonight A and I watched "It's Complicated" which is mostly a romantic comedy about a divorced couple, but naturally had enough tender moments about love and relationships and parenting to make me cry.    And those who know me know that once I let the first tears slip past the floodgates that are my eyes, I have a hard time stopping.

Mind you, I'm not sobbing.  I just fall into this funk, where my mind wanders to all of the moments of my life.  They fade in and out of my memory like snapshots in a slide show.  S calls it "wallerin' and he's probably right, but for me it's always been cathartic and I usually feel better if I get it all out rather than hold back.

Tonight I'm running  through some of the more poignant times in my life...trying to conjure memories of my own parents in moments of happiness together, as well as happiness apart.  For the most part, I can reach that.  Once, in college, after my parents had already divorced, they ended up in Austin at the same time.  Maybe it was when I graduated.   A and I took them bowling and we all four had the best time.   My mom was spunky and cute and had the most beautiful smile ever.  My dad, so cheeky and funny, was the ham.   But they laughed and joked and really, truly had a good time.  A and I still talk about their connection that night.    It should have made me happy and it did, but it was also tinged with sadness.

I also have snapshots of angry, tense moments with my parents arguing.   My sister used to run into the middle of things and try to make peace.    From around the corner, out of sight, but not out of hearing distance, I would stand alone in the darkness and cry.  

What do my kids see and hear?  What do they think?   What snapshots are we making and leaving behind to be added to the scrapbook of their lives?  A and I don't argue often.   We are friendly and still share a love that is complex.     We aren't divorcing, but staying together is proving harder than we ever thought or dreamed it would be when we first started out on this journey all those years ago.   Every day is a new challenge, but I am proud of how hard we are working no matter what the final outcome may be.  People are complicated, relationships even more so.    Much like the movie tonight, although I know how dangerous Hollywood comparisons can be.

As I close this, I will turn the pages of my mind to the happy times.   My face is salty from the dried tears and now all I have left is a bit of a runny nose.

Maybe the little cry I had tonight will help bring on the sleep I've been hoping for.

Sweet dreams,

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