Last night I was up till after midnight, which was both highly unusual and entirely my own fault. The boys get up in the 6 o’clock hour most days. I’m not a morning person and need a lot of sleep, so usually bedtime is around 10.
Z had to go back in to work last night and I had grand plans to watch the new episode of NCIS while eating a large bowl of popcorn. But when I stopped off in our bedroom to put my Nook on the shelf (Yep, I read while nursing C instead of staring lovingly into his eyes. Yep, I nurse my kid who is nearly 18 months old.) I grabbed the copy of The Fault In Our Stars that my friend R had given me for Christmas. This week on facebook a woman who was my next door neighbor back in the 70s, who I haven’t seen since about 1980 (Again, got to say it. Facebook is so fucking amazing.) had been posting about the awesomeness of the book as she read it. I opened it to the first page.
Half an hour later and realized there would be no NCIS. The book had completely sucked me in and I was going to read it until the end. About an hour after that I got up to pee. When I caught sight of myself in the mirror while washing my hands I was violently jerked back to reality for a moment. I’d actually forgotten about me. My life felt like the fiction. The story was were I lived. It was vibrant and clear and most of all real.
I don’t care about elegant sentence construction and literary merit. I understand that stuff has a place, but what matters to me is the feeling a book evokes and my best reading experience is one that is all consuming. There is very little in this world that gives me greater joy.
Listen, I’m an introvert with a wicked anxiety disorder. Some days it physically hurts to make my way through the world. When I’m in public or around people I don’t know well the unrelenting voice in my head tells me I’m an embarrassment, I’m stupid, if people are nice to me it is because they pity me. I fear the poison that is my anxiety will spread to the boys, either because they will be mentally ill as well or because I am unfit to do them justice. I feel like a failure because most Moms I know aren’t weak enough to need a pill to function. I live a privileged life and instead of being grateful for my luck I can barely make it through the day in one piece.
Escaping into a book equals escaping from myself for a time. It is better than therapy or drugs. I can shed all I hate about myself and just be. Anyone with an anxiety disorder will tell you that it makes you feel with your whole body. It also makes it easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes emotionally. In everyday life you cannot simply watch the News without crying five times. Reading, on the other hand, provides a way to slip out of your life and into another with no effort. You can feel all your terrible, messy, overwhelming feelings and no one will judge you. When you are reading all self consciousness falls away and it is simply relief.
Jeeze, got a little heavy there for a minute. So, yeah…I dig reading.
Every morning T climbs into bed on Z’s side and they cuddle for a bit before heading to the shower. I sleep through most of this because as I said I’m not a morning gal. I was miserably tired this morning, though not regretful about my evening. While still half asleep I heard Z say, “Did you have beer or wine?” to T. Suddenly I was quite fully awake. What the fuck was going on? T replied, “Just a sip.” Which didn’t answer Z’s question but was equally alarming. For the love of God, T is 3.
T squirmed around and pulled out something from underneath him, “I have bear shirt!” he said triumphantly as he waved the red tee around. “But no lion?” Z asked. “Nope, he’s in my room.”
Oh, “bear or lion”. Oh, “just a sec.” Oh, questions about the shit he sleeps with. Yup. That makes a lot more sense.
My handsome man ready for work. I want to be crystal clear–escaping the world means escaping myself. Not this guy. Not my boys. They are they good stuff.
Don’t let the look on his face fool you. He is just being very serious about needing a hat. Even a fruit basket will do.
His eyes slay me. A little stoned post nursing. Dude is getting over a nasty cold, he’s teething, and he just spiked a fever.