all over the placeFebruary 12, 2009
Yeah, so last night was supposed to end with a birthday dinner and then a quiet evening, not Lee going out to eat alone because I had started crying and then wasn’t hungry anymore. More of Ezra’s file came, and while it actually answers even more questions, it hit us both hard.
It’s so hard not to be able to discuss things easily. I mean, there’s so much emotion involved with this and layers and layers of what’s a cause of what and what would be alleviated by what possible interventions…. Add to that two people who love each other very much but have very different decision-making styles, and it didn’t go well.
I take responsibility for a lot. Just because I research doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t research cares any less than I do. My speed doesn’t have to be her speed. I can’t just make demands. And I’ve learned over the years that when I cry, it freaks her out and I can’t expect her to stay and comfort me unless I’m crying for clearly-defined reasons she accepts, like when my grandfather died. I can’t make her do things even when I want her to. I definitely can’t make her do things — put down that sudoku book and look at me when I’m speaking! — when I don’t tell her what I need or want. Not doing something my way doesn’t mean Lee’s not fit to be a parent.
And I’m wordy. I’m wordy here, I’m wordy in my head, I’m overthinking this to the extreme. I have a million tiny footnotes I want to rain down on all the information we’ve been given to mine out where the discrepancies are and why they might be there. And Lee doesn’t always want to listen to wordy. Last night she’d just read some things that scared her, that she didn’t understand. And I, supposed Research Goddess of the Western World, don’t understand every variable being analyzed in an IQ test, nor would I pretend to. And do I wonder whether that means I’m missing out? Of course! Just like I wonder about all of this, all of this, all of this.
Lee takes responsibility for her part, to explain why she was angry. I don’t want to talk about her side, but you can probably guess that she’s overwhelmed with information and scared by what she doesn’t understand, and so it’s easy to let that out as annoyance with other things rather than face it directly. Poor Lee is feeling a lot of intense things at the same time. She’d hoped to be able to make a gut decision and it’s not going to work that way because her gut says WHOA, THIS IS A LOT OF STUFF AND PLUS OMG WE’D ACTUALLY BE PARENTS, WHICH IS WEIRD! So it’s not what she expected.
So this isn’t what she expected and isn’t what I expected. I don’t want to give the impression I’m being great about patience or great about being non-coercive, that I don’t snap and say that it’s not as if I haven’t been leaving strategic parenting books around the house and saying, “You should really check out this section on attachment patterns!” for months and months and months. I am not a perfect person. I’m the person who gets stressed and heartbroken reading about this kid and then has to sit on the bed and let tears seep down my cheeks even though that, too, terrifies my partner.
But today things are better. Neither of us did anything stupid last night, just stewed in our individual muddled worries. This morning we had another mini spat with mutual misunderstandings, went off to work without kissing each other goodbye, and then both immediately sent long, honest emails about what scares us and what good things each of us feels for the other. Now, a few hours later, any traces of tears behind my eyes are gone.
I don’t know if we’ll have birthday dinner tonight (with Lincoln and Darwin?) or if we’ll just take it easy at home, but I know the worst has passed and we’re okay. We want Ezra to have a safe, permanent home where he can heal, whether or not it’s with us. We want to create a family and are willing to put in the work it will take, whether or not Ezra ends up in our family. But I’m so grateful to have the people here who can hear my hard stuff Lee doesn’t want to deal with directly or doesn’t have the terminology for right now. People here and on facebook gave me a good birthday even though
And on my drive home from work yesterday in wild weather, I saw seven rainbows. Today the Wii Fit tells me I’ve lost 1.8 lbs since yesterday morning, which I assume is again a rounding error but also a sign I’m making some progress. Outside, our world is sunny and calm. We have a plan in place for consults on Ezra, information that will help Lee make a decision one way or the other. We have a focus once again on each other and how important it is to be supportive especially when that’s hard to do. There will be chances for dinner every day; a strong and loving relationship is the best gift I could ever have.