Sadness

I got a call from Owen’s daycare this morning. Owen (who never has “des crises”) was breaking down in tears (and I don’t think he understands the election results, but I’m close to tears myself), and apparently nursing his arm. He insisted on bringing The Runaway Bunny (“Nunny Away,” he calls it now) to daycare with him, and was hugging the book as I left him this morning. Of course, this brings all kinds of guilty twinges into my heart – does the boy hope I will become a tree that he will come home to? Does he want me to become a gardener and find him, my little crocus in the hidden garden? Because I will, of course, but today I have a stack of essays to get through (oh, I know, and this blog entry – but I’ve done 12 essays already this morning and this will only take a couple of minutes).

I explained to our daycare provider that Owen has been fragile the past couple of mornings. Yesterday he sat down on the couch and cried for absolutely no reason. He hadn’t hit himself on anything, hadn’t asked for anything we’d refused – nothing. And, through his tears, he kept saying “Mmmah, mmmah” (i.e. he wanted us to kiss it better)… but how do you kiss sadness better? We did, of course, and he eventually calmed down, but this morning there were more moments of sadness, not directly related to going to daycare, I don’t think, but possibly. And the book seemed to be a security blanket.

Anyway, I asked that the daycare phone back if he was still inconsolable, and haven’t heard back in a couple of hours, so I guess he’s OK. Poor little guy. Don’t worry. “If you become a little boy and run into a house, […] I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.” This afternoon. Promise.

Grey Street

I’ve been feeling grey lately. Not blue exactly, though I’ve cried more this week than I have in the past 6 months, maybe a year. I’m not exactly sure why, but I can trace parts of my feeling to a general sense of being overwhelmed. My work is wonderful, my students are for the most part lovely, but I haven’t quite managed to get back to the resilient teacher that I have been for the past couple of years.

I feel like I am trying so hard that it’s too hard and that somehow all the cracks are obvious.

I’ve been missing Owen, too, in the now full-time daycare schedule we have him in. I was craving his cheeks the other night and almost wanted to wake him up just to feel them. I was at a meeting that night and got home when he was already asleep.

I am worried (this week) that I am trying to do too much at once. That I can’t slow down to enjoy the little moments of colour that pop into life. I am worried that, to quote Dave Matthews’ Grey Street, “all the colours mix together to grey.” And when it’s grey like that, it’s foggy and dreary (inside my head).

I was berating myself at dinner the other night because I haven’t read enough Greek literature. I should read the Odyssey. I really should. But I probably don’t need to read it this week. I should probably read Dante’s Inferno. Also a good idea. Also a big hole in the education of someone who teaches literature. And then I should probably reread Paradise Lost and some Shakespeare and all those Victorian novels whose plots are growing hazy. And Ulysses. And when I get like this I feel frantic and I start reading bits and pieces of things, trying to squeeze it all into the 5 minutes before I fall asleep. It’s like trying to catch up on e-mail or marking when I am also playing Lego with Owen. Why can’t I just play Lego? Why do I have to try to do something else also? Why can’t I just relax? That’s what I always tell Owen. Chill Chill Chill, Relax Relax.

When I am like this I grow insecure, fragile. And I know, intellectually, that I’m probably not perceived as a fool by most people, but I feel exposed, like everyone can see everything I am trying to hide.

All this is probably too much to say here, but that’s how I have been feeling this week. I do feel better today. I am glad that tomorrow is Saturday and there is nowhere to rush to. I am going to try to stop and breathe a little, try to focus on the small flashes of colour that, after all, make up our lives.