Tuesday, June 23, 2009

As long as it's black

I was thinking of that Henry Ford quote today, about the Model T, remember: "any colour you want, as long as it's black." Munchkin was sitting in a Mennonite buggy as we were on a farm tour, and the tour guide, a progressive-order member of that church, was describing a similar policy for the horse-drawn wagons that still drive our local roads:

All black. Thing is, the idea resonated not so much with the buggies, but with my mood this week, which seems to be: "any mood you want, as long as it's black."

It's a wonderful week, a vacation week booked off work, off daycare. Pynchon's parents are here. We are relaxing, taking it slow, taking a break, having a marvelous time. Why, then, do I keep bursting into tears?

My girl seems suddenly so tall, somehow less round, more ... grown and my pride and love are mixed with shock at the racing pace of her changes. She loves me more than anything in the world and I revel and mourn at the same time.

Pynchon's parents are such lovely people. They fly here from very far away, a goodly expense, and devote themselves to us. They've made four week-long visits to us in the five years we've been here, which is far far more than I can say of my own parents. Munchkin adores them, launching herself to hug her Grampy, asking every morning if they're still here, and cheering when she finds that they are. That too, makes me tear up. Her love is so pure, so total.

Her grandparents are old and infirm. My father in law can walk maybe 200 feet before he needs a substantial rest. He is uncomfortable and tired most of the time, makes grim and fatalistic remarks about his own mortality. My mother in law can't hear very well at all and is busied near constantly keeping her husband comfortable and steady. They carry a pharmacy of medication with them. I hate to watch them decline like this. I love to see them and it breaks my heart, all at once.

Pynchon is a marvel: kind and loving and helpful and understanding. He's taking on a good deal of the planning burden of the week, and still finds time to hold me close when I burst into tears after what was obviously a very stressful half-an-hour reading the newspaper. I am so blessed to have him for my husband. It's so wonderful to be able to go for walks with him in the evening, strolling the neighbourhood hand in hand, a couple, while our girl sleeps at home and her grandparents sit on the front porch. A rare treat.

Our week is a whirl of fun and special times: heritage train, farmer's market, farm tour, library, backyard pool, stroller rides, playground, rubbing sunblock on strong small shoulders, more kisses and hugs and love than I have any right to expect, from all quarters. I want to devour it all, touch it and smell it and hold it close to keep it all in my heart for always. I want to crawl into my room, lie down in the dark, and hide. Maybe it's simply heat exhaustion. Maybe quiet, solitary me is overwhelmed by all the busy-ness and people this week. Maybe I see the solstice as beginning of the coming of the dark. Maybe it's the insomnia that's gripped me again.

But here's where I am: I'm so happy, it's making me sad.

The knee, like my mood, is not to scale.


Bon said...

i get this, Mimi. sometimes the precariousness of it all and my full heart make me feel terribly terribly vulnerable, and some part of my mind that cannot stop speeds ahead and forces me into some kind of strange pre-grieving.

i am learning, slowly, to breathe through it all, though...to just hold tight and let go in what joy i find and let the rest of my mind file stuff and busy itself thinking "i have been happy."

Pynchon's parents sound lovely. i too have inlaws who amaze me, and they are an incredible gift that at the same time make wistful.

Her Bad Mother said...

My heart just can't take it sometimes. Just, can't.

And yes - the growing tall, the thinning out, the GIRLIFYING? GAH.

Jessica said...

It's tough, this simultaneous joy and pain...I'm there this week too.

I'd love to have in-laws (or parents!) like yours.

Great post!!!

Omaha Mama said...

I get this. Really do.
I found myself bawling (really) while watching High School Musical 3 last week. Thinking of my own senior year (which wasn't that great, but is in my memory). I get it.

Think of it this way. The tears and crying is surely detoxifying, which will help with the emotions and sleeping for sure.

Sometimes I get fearful when everything is too good because I know it just doesn't get to stay that way. :(


Bea said...

I've had the June sadness this week too - marked, in my case, by the last day of my spring course and the upcoming last day of kindergarten for Bub (gasp! gasp! - I still can't get over this). June always feels to me like everything is coming to an end.

Beck said...

I don't know HOW I'm feeling these days, to tell you the truth. These last couple of months have been very hard and I feel like I'm now tuned to some emotional radio station that's all static.

Kyla said...

So happy that you are sad. Sounds like a good cause for sadness, right?

I'm glad there is so much happy in your week.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

I understand, fully. I feel much the same way often, with no concrete reasoning. Sometimes I think I am empathic to the hidden pains of others and other times I wonder if it's my soul's longing for renewal from all of the nurturing and love tolls paid during these childrearing years. I do know that I too an grateful, for a wonderful husband who's silent (huge plus when you have children) embrace is most pacifying.

SVT said...

I love reading your blog! I identified with this post so completely. I have three little girls and sometimes the best times make me the most sad. Thank you for putting these feelings into a perfectly and beautifully worded post!