For any of you who might not be parents yet, I warn you: this particular teething experience will be awful. For those of you who are or have been, I hope you will send good karma my way so that we can get through this.
It all started about a week ago. She started getting picky about her food. Then she stopped napping for more than a few minutes at a time. For the first time since she was a newborn she would wake up multiple times in a night crying and virtually inconsolable. Then she started getting a fever, which is always alarming in a small child, no matter how many doctors and nurses confirm that it's a completely normal part of the process: something to be monitored rather than panicked over. But all that very sensible advice feels less than worthless after being woken for fourth time in two hours by the screaming human furnace in the next room...
I feel extra grateful for the brave individuals who've watched her while Patrick and I were at work this week. I barely have the patience to cope with the ornery gremlin that has possessed my sweet girl, so I have nothing but admiration for those who have willing stepped in to help.
Apart from the general decrease in our mental capacity at the moment, Patrick and I experiencing some life lessons in disappointment.
He won a multipass to the upcoming Salt Lake Comic Con several months ago and has been so excited to go! Every night we'd look on Facebook and check out all the fun exhibits and celebrity guests he'd get to see. He even grew out his goatee for the last month just so he could dress up like one of his favorite characters. But due to some unfortunate timing of bills and paychecks (and a pair of broken eyeglasses courtesy of Lucy), it doesn't look like we'll be able to make this happen after all. And, if I'm honest, it breaks my heart. We've been working so hard to cut back on our expenses and stay within a tight budget--and most of the sacrifices affect him more than Lucy or I--I just wanted so much for him to have something to be excited about after long days of work and school, and restless nights at home. So after saving all we could manage, to find out we're too poor to even take advantage of a FREE pass...it's been disheartening for both of us.
Add on top of that the fact that we're stressed and scrambling to try to even make one of our regular payments this check due to the unplanned repair bill for my glasses and...I just don't know.
I've always felt very strongly opposed to posting negative happenings/emotions like this on the Internet. But as I sit here typing (all the while debating whether or not to just delete the whole whiny post) I can't help but feel a deep catharsis settle over me. Maybe I'm just in a place where I can't see the forest for the trees. Maybe we really are financially cursed. Maybe we're about to turn the proverbial corner and find something better. Maybe not. Maybe, maybe, maybe....
This whole experience makes me think of the poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox called "Solitude."
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
I suppose I'm always afraid to lay out my trouble because in the back of my mind I know that I'm not alone in my suffering. Lots of people struggle with money, with difficult parenting moments, and countless other daily inconveniences and trials...I'm not unique in that respect...and it often feels as though there is nothing to be gained by sharing such feelings. They will either be met with indifference (Yeah, yeah...take a number.) or with rejection. (You think you've got troubles, lady? Well let me tell you...)
Though, in the end, I'm choosing to risk it anyway for the chance that someone out there will be able to offer some consolation or reassurance. Because after a week like this I want to believe that there is something better ahead.