At one point last week, I was trying to read a book to my girls on the futon in the baby's room.
"Gerald was a tall giraffe," quiet sob, quiet sob, voice break, "whose neck was long and thin."
I guess my husband heard me on the baby monitor, because he came into the room and just watched while I tried to choke down tears. It was 11 a.m. on a Thursday. He gave me the "are you ok?" eyes, which made me stand up, hand him the book, and quietly walk to our bedroom where I completely lost my shit.
This week, I'm energetically running around the house on conference calls, baking cookies with the toddler, and helping the baby to take her first steps. My husband is walking around the house with glassy eyes, snapping at the cats every time they cross his path. We seem to each be riding the emotional waves that come with this situation, and we're always on opposite crests. We are deep in the Ups and Downs.
I feel like for every good day I have, it's followed by two bad ones. Those are the days where I'm constantly yelling at everyone and everything makes me cry. The Ups and Downs usually build until there's a big down, followed by lots of talking and processing, and then I'm good for another couple weeks.
We're all in some form of the Ups and Downs. Our situations may be different, but we're all feeling this. How could we not be? On top of all that, all of this re-opening is making me feel like I'm stuck in an alternate universe where everyone thinks this is over but me. It's a lot. The first few weeks, I leaned hard on my coping strategies (journaling, yoga, meditation) to get me through, and some time last week they all just stopped working. I had to ride the wave down and back up again, but I did come back up. This will one day be over.
I walked into the baby's room and looked at my little family through puffy red eyes. My husband had the three year old curled up along his side, and our chubby baby sat in his lap pulling at the book. I squeezed in next to them and took a deep breath.
"Want to read the last page?" he asked.
"'Then he raised his head and looked up at the moon and stars above. We all can dance," he said, "when we find music that we love."'
Look for the light in your situation and keep on dancing.