Monday, October 24, 2011


Today there's been a lot of laughter in our house. It's disorienting. Our typical mode is subdued and anxious (Benjy), eye-rolly, plugged-in, and teenager-ish (Saskia), overwhelmed and distracted (me), and At Work (Lars). We have become a Heavy Household, not corporeally but in spirit. So when Ben and Saskia sit together on the couch, watching Family Guy clips and giggling, snorting, and belly-laughing, and when they show ME said clips and my eyes go moist with the hilarity of it all, that's a good thing. I love it! And I wish for more of it.

When I was married the first time (yes, I'm on my second round), a friend pointed out that I never laughed. There was beauty in the world and I saw it, felt it, heard it -- it gave me pleasure -- but very little levity. Then I moved on, made a few relationship mistakes (the jazz drummer was a real low point, no offense to all you jazz drummers out there), and met Lars. And suddenly I was laughing again. It's a nice story, isn't it?

Now, I don't want you to think we never laugh around here. We do, sometimes. Occasionally we're downright silly. (Ben does a hilarious rodent impersonation. I mean it, it's funny. And Lars is a big goof.)  But there is a lot to worry about. I touched on the financial stress in an earlier post (and touched a few nerves in the process, as evidenced by the comments!), and of course there is the probability that Ben will do something to hurt himself (hit himself, pick his fingers or bite his lip bloody, stuff like that) if we're not vigilant. I worry that he will soon graduate to cutting (and yes, he does fantasize about that, tells us it's only a matter of time before he works up the courage to do it). I worry he'll fall apart, feel anguished/lonely/scared/angry, and I won't be able to pull him out of it. I worry because I love him so damn much, and I love Saskia and Lars so damn much, and I want our family to be happy and comfortable and safe. I want Saskia to not have to pay for her own lunches when she chooses to buy lunch instead of carrying, and to not have to pay half the cost of her class trip to Quebec.

"That's what babysitting's for," she says, the sweetheart. She does not want me to feel bad. But I do.

So we're not always laughing around here. But you know what we have? We have our health, at least for now. Our kids have the most wonderful, loving, and amazing Grandma and Grandpa who EVER lived (except for your kids' grandmas and grandpas, no doubt). They have wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers and other supporters. WE have wonderful friends and supporters. And a great dog (he's a handful, though, I must confess). And some rockin' hermit crabs. Need I go on? Oh yeah, and it's getting cold and we have heat. And tonight I am making my famous chicken noodle soup. So here's the thing: as tough as things get, there are times, too, when all's right with the world. And this is one of those times. Today Benjy wants to live, and life is a pleasure. Yay!

What's going right for you? Comment, please! :)

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