The days right now are anything but predictable. Now that is certainly as it should be in the domain for a 3 year old and his one month old little brother. About a week ago I was doing something that isn’t my first instinct, but always works out of for the best: I was communicating a concern of mine to my wife. I know. GASP! I’m a stubborn and sometimes rather foolish individual and, despite evidence to the contrary, there are times I still like to think I can handle a lot more on my own than I actually can. My concern was pretty simple: I’ve noticed that while her sleep cycle in rather consistently interrupted by a hungry Charlie, mine has gone almost entirely unchanged. I mean, I get up when Jack wakes up and take Charlie for a while, so Allison can sleep late. Also, I have lately been on night duty in the late PM. However, this is all in line with what my usual sleep cycle is. I usually get up early and stay up later than I should. However, Allison is certainly not getting the luxurious (her words) amount of sleep that she’s used to. The time is all there, but it comes in two hour spurts. This arose a bit of guild in me and I quite simply said: “I don’t think I’m doing enough with Charlie.” Allison fired back: “I don’t think I’m doing enough with Jack.” It kind of surprised me. As my PREVIOUS BLOG stated, there are certain times that Jack is craving an attention that Allison cannot give her right now. My partner went on to speculate: “Is it just possible that this is going a lot better than either of us expected?”
I smiled at the notion and embraced it. She was right. The division of labor has been fair and necessary. We’ve been conscious of our own needs and the needs of the other and we’ve been trying to spread the parenting and love around between both Jack and Charlie. I get my usual Jack and Daddy stuff and Allison gets some quiet moments with just Jack also. She gets the lion’s share of Charlie, but I’m filling my role of being the relief and building my foundation as the primary caregiver. He is already fully aware of classic George sing alongs like:
Man, is there anything better than music from THE MUPPET SHOW? Don’t bother Googling it, the answer is “No”. Somethings are taking a backseat, but those are the more shallow aspects of the equation. The things that we always knew would have to go as time became a more precious commodity. The important things are still paramount and they always will be. As an addict in recovery, there are certain things that I do everyday. They are not time consuming, nor are they to be ignored. They are as integral to my life as air and food, and they become one with whatever situation I find myself in. I’m fortunate that my life affords me the ability to still do these things. The fact that I get to do these things is one of the main reasons that this first month of Charlie’s life has been very different than the first month of Jack’s life. The first year, for that matter. It’s the reason that things are “going a lot better than either of us expected.”
There are other reasons things seem easier though. I don’t dwell on these things as much as I used to. I have a special access to a comfort and it’s part of what I talked about earlier as being an addict in recovery. For me, I get the freedom that I now enjoy from this access. It comes with certain terms that I must continue to grow towards, but it yields the most fantastic results. In no short order, I accept all that is now happening is unraveling as part of an ultimate plan. I don’t mean to get too spiritual in the midst of a blog, but this is about me and about the ways in which I find enough comfort in life to adequately raise my children. Whatever that may mean. This plan continually moves forward and it’s frustrating at times because I cannot actually SEE what the plan is. So, that means that I don’t know who will benefit from what. I don’t know what the end game is or if there is one. If I sit here, now, in full acceptance that everything is going exactly as it should and that really I’m the only one that is judging the given situations as “good” or “bad”, well, then pretty much everything is perfect.
Now, that’s all well and good. Yes, very lofty and zen of me, right? One thing that I fully realize is that as good as this is now going, it’s going to change. Right now, this is easy. Allison is on maternity leave. Eventually, Charlie and Jack will fall squarely on my shoulders. I’m not entirely sure how that’s going to go, and that’s okay. I’ve never done it before. I’ve seen others do it, some seemingly more willing than others. I know that, at the very least, it’s going to be so much better than it was last time and not just because I’m sober now. But because it’s going to be different. It’s going to be new and that alone is amazing. There was a time when I could not go a single minute of the day without thinking about where I was going to get my next drink. Now, instead, I sleepily rock my new son to sleep and tell my wife “I got this.” so she can go out for a night with her friends. Because I do. For now.
Thanks for listening. Be well.