Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Ballad of Dust Bunny

So, somewhere on Facebook I saw that May 16 was Mental Health Blog Day. I, of course, believe in complying with these very important internet imperatives.

No, I don’t really. But parenting and PPD have been on my mind lately, probably because Mother’s Day was last weekend. I had a lovely day. Our children made me such incredibly thoughtful gifts—they overwhelmed me. I couldn’t help thinking how things had changed since my first Mother’s Day.

I wrestled with PPD for nearly a year after S. joined our family. Then, just as I felt better, I became very ill with thyroiditis and the resulting hypothyroidism. Between the two illnesses, I spent many days on the sofa while S. was small.

So, with mothering and mental health (health!) on my mind, I thought I’d post one of my attempts to write about those days. If this sounds familiar, please know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Tell someone, reach out, get help, and know that it can and will pass! Tell your family, tell a friend, tell your healthcare provider, or check out this list of resources--

I promise I'm working on an uplifting blog for next time!

The Ballad of Dust Bunny

From my angle, I spy
A compatriot
Dwelling in the corner
Beside the tv, under the chair
Just this side
Of the shelf
A shadow of more substance
Less linearity
Than the other shadows
In a day or so
He seems a little heavier
A little more rounded

From my angle, I suppose
Does he mutter
To himself
Does it cross his mind
To matter?
Does he think he should
Have one foot to drag
In front of another
Does he sigh for
A to-do list to
Wrap up in at night?
Would he give his form
--if he could--
To anchor himself
For motion, for change
So he might matter?

I change angles,
My side grown numb
A humid comforter
Hovers over
Monotonous green
From our window
We watch
The same plants
Growing the same leaves
Over and over
In weeks
Between clippings

He’s heftier now
And I …
In long hours
Interrupted by
Brief functioning
A meal to be had
Dirty laundry
Waded through
Sleep sought
And avoided
Guilt consumed
And abandoned

Another day
Another destiny

I watch
My daughter bustling
She whips up a lunch
Feeds bears and monkeys
With equal ease
Leaps block towers
In single bounds
Puts hordes to bed
And wakes them
Two seconds after
She even brushes
My fellow-sufferer
In her urgent reaching
For a miscreant toy
What will she do
With the next five minutes?

The constant
Between her eyebrows
Punctuated by
Disguised, quick
Shoulder glances

My indictment

At least
With a ball of fluff
She knows
To ask nothing

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