It has been an intense month for Child and I. I am a generally sensitive person with loads of feelings.
But I have been in the midst of this confronting-feelings tsunami for about a month.
There are two things I want to tell you about.
1. My sister’s wedding. I already told you about it, sort of. I am happy for her. But I am also worried. I am worried because she does not know how young she is the way I’ll say I didn’t know how young I was ten years from now. This is a thing. It is a hard thing. I don’t really care about marriage. I think it can be a reasonable pragmatic choice for some people, whether they are in love or not. And my sister’s wedding RULED. Here are some pictures. But oh gosh, she actually did it. She actually got married. And oh man, she moved to Texas. And holy birds, this is just kind of age-making. I mean, I helped to take care of her when she was a baby. I changed her diapers. If it’s this intense when my baby sister gets hitched up, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when Child does it. Sheesh.
I am a crier. I cry when I am happy and sad and frustrated and occasionally if I am hungry. I cry at weddings and funerals. Whether I know or love the people or not. I am still, a week later, occasionally crying about my sister’s wedding. Especially when I see pictures or think real hard about how my family is different now: Richer, and more interesting, and with potential for greater closeness (but also for greater pain), for having made this milestone, for welcoming a new person.
2. Child met her paternal grandparents for the first time. If you’ll recall, she hasn’t met her father. We spent a lovely late morning with them, had some lunch, played at the mall, chatted. It was cool and nice. But it felt kind of similar in terms of adding new people. In terms of overwhelming love and complicated, conflicting feelings.
They were sweet and loving toward both of us. They did not have to be. I wasn’t expecting them to be. I wasn’t expecting anything.
But this was the third time we’d scheduled a visit. So I was kind of scared they wouldn’t show up. I was half worried it’d be some kind of ambush. I remain concerned for Child’s emotional health. I have had the swell luxury of not really having to examine my feelings about Child’s bio father. Maybe not about him, exactly, but about this situation as it relates to him. I haven’t believed I’d have to. I haven’t believed we’d have to figure out how to give Child that part of her family without giving her him.
I can’t help but think that this intense emotional overwhelm is at least partially responsible for the way I had the first migraine headache in like 15 years, and the way Child spent last night puking and moaning.
So this morning, during her little uptick of energy before she ate anything, she asked to play Candy Land, and so I took a break from playing catch-up and played with her.
I was struck by how absurd that game is. It’s unfair and ugly (like life), but it’s all swaddled in pink and the excitement and indulgence of CANDY!, and it requires no skill.
The image above is the new version. I played a very squared-edges, bare version compared to what exists now. The board is vertically oriented, and just gauche, and the gingerbread man pawns are these wavy, pretty critters, totally unlike the basic, barely-recognizable cutouts of my youth.
Candy Land struck me as a metaphor for lives: It doesn’t matter how pretty you try to make it, or how much candy you eat, it still sucks, will often be boring, and it is more likely than not that you’ll lose, even–or especially–if you do everything right.
So. Enjoy the cynicism for a Monday afternoon. Any of you have moments of clarity over kids’ media?
Thanks for being here.