I am doing what a new friend suggested. Instead of looking up Shar’s pics/writing/etc that wreck me at night I will do some more of my own writing laying in bed at 2 AM.
JJ is 12 days old and I have been without my baby girl for 12 days as well. That will always be weird, uncomfortable and a little ironic. From watching nieces and nephews grow old I’ve noted how at first you count using days and weeks. “She is 12 days old.” “He is 7 weeks.” At no other time is it the norm to keep track of time this way. Eventually we move to longer time measurements of months and eventually as most big boys and girls do, onto years. Whenever someone asks how old my little best friend is it will also be a countdown from the moment I said goodbye to his angelic mama. Over time when we switch to those longer time periods will the days not be numbing and nights hellish? I can’t say if I even would want that.
In our almost 10 years of marriage I think we literally spent 7 nights apart...total, Four nights in DC last year lobbying for the Earth. One or two nights to say good-bye to my grandma Decker in Arizona before she passed. One night sleeping over with my brothers playing video games. One night where Sharry went camping with a nature writing class. Twelve days is a new freaking record, by a long shot, tomorrow will beat that, and the next day will continue beating records until the days turn into weeks, into months and into years just like our baby boy JJ.
JJ is doing fabulously and will hopefully be out Wednesday or Thursday. Of course I had another rough day and even tougher night but there were sprinkles of goodness. NICU nurses. Amazing co-workers who visited and literally offer me a roof over my head. Two of my students, who I love and adore, have been anxiously waiting for baby news throughout the year came to meet JJ with their awesome mamas. Watched “the Bachelorette” with my mom and brother because Sharry and I used to love to do this (I even was running a fantasy league!). But tonight the horribly well done trashy tv just couldn’t hold my attention or any enthusiasm. Media in its myriad of forms tastes ashen...except for music. I used to have such zest and enthusiasm for great and terrible shows, movies, video games, news articles, books, etc. but for 12 days now I think I have watched 3 hours of tv, read like 40 pages in a book for widows, listened to no podcasts (I’m sure my queue is huge), checked the news zero times (I doubt I’ve missed much, I heard about Brexit from family and hope Bernie is still planning on the convention), played zero video games, and listened to hours and hours of music. Those are all definitely records too. All silly stupid things I did with Sharry. We read together almost every night, out loud together and independently in bed. Of course as many couples do we watched countless hours of all sorts of tv/movies, some inspiring and enthralling others kind of fun crap (The Bachelorette etc). Even video games Shar always said she preferred to some other possible hobbies because we can sit on the couch together while she writes/reads/Instagrams/creates and I fight baddies in virtual worlds. Of course she hated the violent types (not very Ahimsa) and would rather I be a creator like her but as long as we were sitting together it was good. I’m sure the flavor and enjoyment will gradually come back but do any of those things really matter?? To quote Sharry in one of her hidden Easter eggs
“No matter how easy entertainment is to access in this digital age, these are mostly distractions from real-life experiences. Of course, real life has a lot more struggle and hardship than easy entertainment, but it is this living, this living, this living- that gives us meaning.”
Man that was a big Bachelorette tangent! After the Bachelorette the sun was down and like clockwork darkness entered my mind and heart. But then three surprisingly great (with a lowercase g) things happened. I called a friend, while lying in the empty hospital parking lot, who has been reaching out...probably my last best pre Sharry friend and his words were incredibly comforting. At 11pm I told my friend goodbye because it was JJ feeding time. I went in to the NICU and Sharry’s sister was there holding JJ and I love surprise Buhanan sightings. Then the moment that has gave me the biggest smile in 12 days, our extraordinary NICU nurse taught me how to give a swaddle bath. JJ LOVED his little spa time, he was so adorable as he literally soaked it in with all the pleasure and contentment a 12 day old possibly could...I just hope Sharry was there seeing the magical moment.
Tomorrow is my half birthday and I just had a shared calendar update pop up on my computer “Jared’s ½ birthday bash.” My real birthday is December 29th which sucks and growing up I always wanted to switch to June but no family members would comply until I met Sharry. She happily skipped my December day and would throw amazing June 29th bashes. Hopefully she can help make it happen again by busting JJ out on his 13th day on Earth and my 33rd and a half.