I’ve been looking at this photo since it popped up in my FB Memories a few weeks ago. It’s just a photo of Bridget teaching Quinn how to play Super Mario Bros 3 on the train to Montreal just over 3 years ago. It was a nice train ride.
You can’t see it in the photo, but Bridget is very pregnant. She must be about 32 weeks pregnant if my math is correct. There is nothing sad about the photo itself, but it is very hard for me to look at it without breaking down. I don’t know exactly what I mean by this, but I guess it was a much simpler time before a lot of scary and unexpected things happened.
“Why do you think about that time when everything is okay now?” she asked me the other day. I really don’t know. It sends me rushing back to that day (week? month?) when precious Marshall was born, and for a brief time in our lives, I was scared absolutely shitless. I don’t know how else to put it except that way and with more expletives.
And in the spirit of honesty, I’m appalled that the photo elicits this reaction in me. I know the healthy and right thing to do is to look ahead and realize all the triumphs Marshall has achieved and see that things are much, much, much more okay than I expected on February 21, 2015. And then I think THAT sentiment is wrong. It’s all very confusing.
But maybe it isn’t? Social media has given us the chance to connect with other families in similar situations, to share knowledge and experiences, and to offer and receive emotional support when necessary. It’s wonderful. It has also served as a reminder of some scary times.
I want to look at the photo and fondly remember that last little trip before the latest phase of life, and yet because of the way I think of it, guilt about missing that simpler time ends up suffocating me.
One day, Marshall, you might read this. By this post, you’re probably thinking, “Man, my dad was a mess.” You’re not far off, though I want you to know that all the times you saw me worry or have a hard time with things, or all the weird posts where I was fretting and wringing my hands – despite all that, my life would be incomplete without you and Quinn. While I feel all these emotions when I look at the photo, I also remember that you and Quinn give me my best reason to get up every day, to go to work, to come home, and to go to sleep again – all to do it again the next day.