Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Riding the night-mare
Maybe it has to do with the third trimester, or the stress from work and domestic admin, or even the constant kicking coming from our unborn kid. Last night was a tough night, I think I got maybe 4 or 5 hours of sleep in total. I am exactly like Sophie in the sense that whenever I sleep less, my body thinks that it therefore need less sleep. With the net result that I find myself awake at 3:00am this morning trying to go back to bed.
I then dreamed that Fabien had died suddenly and unexpectedly and found myself having to check that he was still alive and breathing when I woke up.
In a good way, it reminds me just how much I love my husband, and also set me on a train of mental wandering.
On a practical level, if Fabien were to die suddenly, I probably make enough money to raise 2 kids (although probably not at the standard of life to which we are currently accustomed), but I think I would have a serious organizational deficit in terms of trying to provide a stable and loving family unit. So much of the admin in my life actually relies so much on him (like paying my credit card bills and checking that our vaccines and insurances are up to date) that I wonder whether I would be able to function at all if he were to suddenly disappear.
On an emotional level, I think my life would come to a standstill. What would be unbearable would be explaining to our kids that he isn't there anymore. Sophie absolutely adores her Papa, and with the recent development that Mama is absolutely refusing to carry her and spending time resting instead of taking her out to play, Papa has consequently become a whole lot more fun than Mom!
Fabien spent this weekend horse-riding with Sophie, and she came back very impressed and cannot stop talking about it - "Papa rides so fast - clop clop clop! Papa horse ENORMOUS…" My grandma had been shocked when she found out that I had left Fabien in Bali with Sophie. I think in her time, no sane mom left young children alone with their father for a week, but Fab is an incredibly hands-on father, and I realise I am really pretty lucky when I think about so many of my friends (even in this day and age) where 99.99 percent of child-rearing is done by the mother, sometimes by choice, and sometimes by circumstance. It makes me thankful for my good fortune that my husband and I have the choice to be very equal partners in all aspects parenting our kids. The only thing Fabien cannot do is breastfeed them - but that's about it. He's as good (if not better) than me at putting Sophie to bed, changing diapers, burping, toilet-training, playing and story-reading, that I'm all set to do it ALL OVER AGAIN with him....
The terrible price for loving and being loved is that you are so vulnerable to its loss. Looking at loss with equanimity and Zen is far too distant from the violent passion that can be love.
Despite my many misgivings I went back to sleep after sunrise, and woke up again at 7 am and realised that my husband HAD disappeared - only to be informed by our daughter that he had gone to the gym and would be back for breakfast - sheeesh.