Monday, August 11, 2008

As Good As It Gets

Well, it appears as though the earth is still spinning on it's axis. As far as I can tell anyway. For a minute there it felt like we were careening off into a black hole. It was precisely 8:45a.m. when I felt it. The same time Isaac walked into his kindergarten class.

You know, I was doing just fine. I was good. Tim and I got him on the bus without so much as a tear from any of us. Plenty of smiles, a little anxiety. Then I left Tim to get the girls on the bus and I went to Isaac's school to help with bus duty. Everything was a little chaotic and while I was lining up kindergartners with their teachers Isaac came up behind me and grabbed my legs. There were tears glistening in his eyes and his frown was trying not to tremble. But I was OK. I was still good. He obviously was not but I had to keep us altogether and save face. I got him to his teacher along with another little girl who was showing the same signs of first dayness. I took his picture and like the good boy of a photographer he is he forgot about everything else and smiled for the camera.

Good. He was good. I was still good. We were all good.

Then everyone started to walk into the school and I looked around ready to help with all those confused little people and realized none of the other parents were going in. The sidewalks were clearing and my heart started firing off signals to my brain...not good, not good, this is NOT GOOD. I looked around at the other parents and they were all just chatting with each other on the sidewalk and smiling. I had my smile in place but the earth was spinning a little faster (I could feel the wind pick up). Words started popping in my head like "are we just going to let them go?!" and "don't they need our help?!" and "WAIT! HE'S LEAVING!!!" But I squelched them all because I knew deep down in my heart.... I was insane.

"Good" was being sucked away by that vortex of a black hole and the earth was picking up speed. I thought I was PREPARED, I had spilled my tears a week before over EVERYTHING. Isaac was beginning school and the girls were going to 5th grade and moving on to the intermediate school. I had cried for the days that were gone and the days ahead that would make our family forever "different". I had done my emotional homework. I was all caught up. How was this sneaking up on me?! I had gotten a puppy for chrissakes!!!

It was because of my almost 41 years of life experience that I didn't burst into tears and start running in circles screaming "MY BABY IS GONE, MY BABY IS GONE!" Instead I held my smile in place and slowly walked to my car, putting one foot in front of the other until almost all thoughts of hysteria had passed.

I did it. Isaac did too. He was going to be OK. And I was still good. Well....mostly.

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