Friday, September 25, 2009


I painted the living room this week. I think I may have mentioned that. The paint is dry now and I've started to clean the floors and move some of the furniture back into place. Not everything is going back into the room because it was a bit of a mess before, and I want the room to keep the soothing, HGTV feel it's got going at the moment.

The walls were white, now they are blue - Rain Washed, according to Behr. It is a different room completely now. Roo has never been in this version of this room. I wonder if that will make it easier for me. Will I think of her less in here now that it feels so different? I'm not sure. I don't think that anything but time can make me think of her less.

Time has already helped me some. The first week, I spent every second of every day wondering where exactly Roo was and what she was doing. Now I can go several hours at a stretch without wondering in such detail. When I was painting, I passed a lot of time not wondering about her at all. I was too focused on the task at hand.

I did think, from time to time, about what I would be doing if I still had Roo. I tried to imagine painting with a baby in the house, and I have to say that I don't think it would have happened. The logistics simply don't work. Of course, I would rather have Roo than a Rain Washed living room, but I've got a Rain Washed living room, and I'm happy with it.

Looking around the lower floor of the house, you would never know that there was once a baby here. The kitchen table bears a parenting magazine or two, and (for some odd reason) the assembly instructions for the crib. But you'd have to know they were there to see them. Downstairs, the house says that adults live here. It's only as you move upstairs that there are traces of what once was. The first landing has a pile of Roo artifacts - the folded up Pack and Play, a laundry basket full of odds and ends like blankets and the baby monitor and the Boppy pillow. The hallway upstairs holds a few odd items that suggest a baby, and then there's my room, where lies the bulk of the detritus of my nine short weeks of motherhood.

I imagine that it will only be a matter of time before the pile on the landing shifts upstairs as well, or perhaps into the garage for more long-term storage. Slowly but surely, all signs of a baby are being pushed up, away, out of sight. Before long there will be nothing left to ever suggest that a baby lived here, or that I was ever a mother. I wonder what that will be like but I am not too anxious to find out. I'm sure it will happen soon enough. When it does I will deal with it as best I can.

And, in time, it will get easier. When my dad died a year ago I couldn't imagine that there would ever be a time when I didn't collapse under the weight of my grief. It seemed unthinkable that I would ever be able to speak of him without tears, that I wouldn't miss him more than I could bear. But with every month that passed, it got easier, if just the tiniest bit. I got used to his absence. I stopped expecting to hear the door open at 5:15 and I adjusted to being the only one in the house who liked ketchup and baseball and 100-degree weather.

I expect that it will be something similar with Roo. One of these days, I will think of her without such acute pain. It will hurt, yes, but not quite as sharply. One of these days, I will go seven, eight, nine hours without thinking of her. I will learn to be alone again, to be a selfish single woman again, to be unexceptional and unimportant again. I will learn to live my life without her, and I will be okay without her. It's only a matter of time.

I'm praying for patience.

No comments: