Routine is necessary for my mental health. It makes predictability possible; it provides me with a sense of calm. Whenever I am faced with a change in my daily pattern my anxiety skyrockets. A few days before my big November trip to the south I became convinced it was a terrible idea. I experienced severe separation anxiety from Z, and I am ashamed to say I was pretty unpleasant to him. I had been excited about the trip for months. Who in Syracuse doesn’t want to skip town in November? After the miscarriage I looked forward to it even more. It seemed like a convenient way to escape the sadness in our house. But as the travel day approached I knew in my gut that I wouldn’t be able to handle such a huge change in my routine.
Of course, my gut was wrong. The trip has been wonderful. I wouldn’t have missed the Simonson family reunion or the look on my Grandmother’s face when she was surrounded by her kids and grandkids and great grandkids for anything. T and his cousin have both benefited tremendously from time spent with each other over the last month. T now walks everywhere and Gabe is more verbal. Maybe those developments would have happened without the two guys being together almost every day, but I think the changes were expedited by each other’s influence. I got to see my Aunt and Uncle, my cousin and his family, and old friends. We spent a day with Z’s parents, and I got several days with my awesome sister-in-law and family. I was able to be at my parent’s new home on their move in day, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving complete with my sister’s best friend.
But the day after that wonderful Thanksgiving dread started creeping into my body. I could feel it in the back of my throat, in my belly, in my lower back. Since then it has been a constant presence tainting every bit of fun I’ve had with my family. I don’t want to go back home. I’ve gotten used to being down here. Traveling has become my routine. Z has been with us for almost a week, so the huge hole that his absence created has been filled. This is my reality now, and home seems completely foreign and frankly frightening. Z is going home tomorrow morning and my sadness at saying goodbye to him, even for just over 48 hours is making things worse. Because of course I’m going to be happy to be home on Wednesday. Of course I’ll quickly slip back into our routine there. Of course I can’t wait to see my friends and our newly renovated bathroom and my two bat shit crazy cats.
But for some reason I can’t imagine that happiness right now as I sit in Georgia. We only are going to be home for a few weeks before we head back down south for Christmas in Winston-Salem followed by another trip down to my parent’s house in Georgia. A month from this moment I will be back in this house surrounded by family. And I’ll surely be dreading going home again. That dread will not be completely irrational, though. I learned last winter that January through March is the hardest part of the year in Syracuse. My sister will be having her baby in May, and that will probably be what I use to get me through those months, the thought of visiting her when the baby arrives.
And then I’ll dread that trip down south when I am days away from it. Like always, the hope is that by seeing the pattern I’ll be able to break it at some point, but I don’t feel close to escaping the cycle right now.
Dad heated up the hot tube a bit so Z and T could take a dip. It is unbelievably beautiful here.
The cousins took a boat ride on the lake.
Mom and Dad enjoying their lovely new home.
T hasn’t had a favorite stuffed toy yet. My dad got this one as swag somewhere and handed it to T while unpacking. T hasn’t wanted to let it go since. Of course he would choose to love an orange toy. He rubbed it on my face today and I had shivers running down my spine, but I didn’t visibly freak out. Motherhood has make me very strong…