Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm running on three hours of sleep. Joel decided that he needed to cry from 10 to 3 AM last night. I have no idea why. Everything is extra hard this morning---normal behaviors are annoying, normal annoyances become a crisis. I really, really need my sleep.

As I write this, Owen is banging around in the upstairs bathroom instead of napping in his bed. It is taking a supreme act of will to not go upstairs, shake him, and yell, "Go to sleep now, you little bastard!"

It does not make me proud to write this. I know that my thoughts, are just that, thoughts. But I don't even like thinking them. I don't condone child abuse in any shape or form, but in my sleep-deprived haze, I can understand how people get to that point of frustration. Crossing the line into action...that I cannot understand.

Like I said, everything is hard. There's a funeral today for a local girl Owen's age that died choking on a carrot. Owen eats carrots all the time. Like a rabbit. I cannot fathom such a loss, and it makes me feel especially guilty that parents are grieving, and I'm calling my child a little bastard (in my mind, anyway).

Choosing to live, hope, thrive in the wake of such a loss is the most heroic thing I can imagine. And here I am, missing a few hour's sleep, allowing myself to fall apart.

I just finished a book about the New York City Marathon. The woman who won in the race in 2007, Paula Radcliff, had her daughter ten months before the race. She is a gutsy, steely competitor, and at the end of her grueling race, she repeated a mantra, the one word that could get her through the tape and lead her to victory. That mantra---her daughter's name, "Isla."

Today, in the wake of true trauma, true loss, and real hardship, I need to slog through the marathon of this day---with grace, dignity, and forgiveness (for myself and others). My mantra needs to be, "Love Owen, Love Joel, Love Owen, Love Joel."

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