Each day is better than the last. A year ago I was pregnant, alone, terrified, and angry at the world - especially at the man who abandoned me. There were many mornings where it seemed impossible to pull myself out of bed and face yet another dark day of the unknown. As my due date approached, those dark days became a little less frequent, and after Sol's arrival, those days became further and further apart.
Now those days are almost unheard of. But they still creep up. What's more, the days often run together, giving a sort of monotonous feel to life.
Wake up / shower / wake Sol up / feed Sol / take Sol to daycare / go to work / pick Sol up from daycare / feed Sol / send Sol to bed / go to sleep / repeat.
And most days are quiet.
It's getting better now that Sol has begun to jabber away. But right now, her jabbering is just noises - and unfortunately, 99.9% of them are "da da da."
But when she goes to sleep, it's quiet again. And the quiet nights at home can be killer. The quiet nights, when I sit in silence in my ugly chair in the living room and stare at the chest-turned-coffee-table and think about how wonderful it would have been to have someone there to laugh with me tonight when Sol banged the Willow Tree angel for 10 minutes on the chest-turned-coffee-table, or to have someone to share in my excitement when she pulled herself up on the chest-turned-coffee-table and shuffled her chubby little feet from one end to the other. The quiet nights, when I sit in silence at my kitchen table and look at the kitchen floor that needs to be swept because there's cinnamon sugar on the floor because yes I ate cinnamon toast for dinner again and I ate it standing in front of the stove without even using a plate. The quiet nights, when I take my contacts out and wash my face and brush my teeth and don't care what I look like because I have no one to impress. The quiet nights, when I tiptoe past the nursery, where Sol is fast asleep, and I go to my room and pull the covers back from an empty bed where I will sleep alone. The quiet nights, when I fall into the 4 or 5 pillows on my otherwise empty bed and I turn the fan on just so there's some white noise and I don't have to listen to the deafening silence that pounds in my head and takes over my being.
The quiet is killing me.
And it's on those particularly quiet nights when the quiet works its dark magic and drags the tears from my eyes and makes me believe all the most terrible things I've ever thought about myself. The quiet tells me that it's quiet for a reason, and the reason is because I'm unwanted. The quiet tells me that no matter what I do or how hard I try, it will be quiet forever. The quiet tells me that it's quiet because of things I've done. The quiet tells me that it will always be quiet because of me.
And somehow, in all that noisy quiet, between the sniffles of chest-tightening-heart-breaking-throat-squeezing loneliness, I fall asleep.
I wake up the next day, and it's a brand new day. It's quiet again in the morning, but somehow a different kind of quiet. It's the quiet that makes me notice the little things that Sol does. It's the quiet that makes me take note as she stares in wonder at all ten fingers on her hands. It's the quiet that makes me laugh as she cranes her neck to watch me in awe as I do something simple like take a sip of water from my glass. It's the quiet that makes me revel in sitting next to her high chair and sharing a little pile of Puffs with her. It's the quiet that makes my heart break as I watch her lovingly stare at me in the mirror, as I regret every time I felt like she was a burden, every time I cried because she was "real." It's the quiet that brings me back to life and reminds me that this today with her is the only today I'll have with her.
The quiet that kills me is the same quiet that gives me peace. There's one for the philosophy books.
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence."
-- Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata"