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What If It's Getting Better?

I said to her with a hopeful, quiet voice, "I think he might be smart." And we sat there and cried together across the table and dabbed at our happy tears with our napkins. Because she knows how hard it is for me to hope for that.
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I haven't written on my blog in a while -- not for a lack of things to write about, as there is always something going on around here -- but out of fear. Things are changing a lot, slowly but significantly, and I'm just not sure what that means for me, for my family, for my life, for this forum. This blog has been a place of solace for me, a place to feel surrounded while still wrestling with my solitude. It's a place where I think people come to read, to listen, to pity, to relate, to appreciate their own lives, to understand mine, to support, to understand, to share, to just... be there (be here?).

I don't know where this blog goes if I'm not wallowing, if I'm not feeling lonely, if it's a day without a major struggle... if there is no blood, no sweat (there are always tears). Is anyone still out there? Do I need the drama, the stacked odds, the tragedy to make this worth reading?

Where do we go from here?

I was lonely last week when I wrote that post -- I was in a dark and dreary place emotionally and I just had to let it out. The response I got was staggering. People emailed, texted, sent me messages through Facebook, commented on the blog, tweeted, called and came up to me when they saw me at pickup or drop-off at my daughter's school. They were touched. They related. They hurt for me. Ironically, I never felt so understood.

But sometimes, I'm OK with my life. I accept it. I find joy in it. Maybe not in the same places other people do, but it's there. It's what I've been given and there is so much good in it. My kids are adorable, my husband is amazing (not perfect, mind you, but we're still in the vicinity of Father's Day, so now's not the time). I have so many supportive friends and family around me, and I'm finally learning who is worth hanging on to and who to walk away from. But do people want to hear about the happy, satisfied parts of me? Or is my identity -- my essence -- only that of the forlorn mother and woman who has been repeatedly beaten-down by what life and fate have handed her?

What if there is "normal" sometimes? Is there anyone out there who wants to hear about that? Is the "getting to normal" as interesting, as enthralling as when I'm writing about being so far out on the periphery of it? Is this what I've become? Created?

Owen has been talking more, saying words we didn't know he knew. A good portion of the time, his phrasing still sound like someone reading a Boggle board, but he has come so, so far. And it's amazing. And my husband and I look at each other and constantly say "Did you hear that?" after he has uttered some new word we had no idea he could say or understood the meaning of or was able to use in context correctly.

I gave him a large mug yesterday with some herbal iced tea and he went to pick it up and said "It hell-wee." And I knew he was telling me it was heavy, regardless of how garbled it came out. And I got choked up because I didn't even know he knew what heavy meant.

I told that story to my cousin last night when we were out celebrating a good friend's new baby and I said to her with a hopeful, quiet voice, "I think he might be smart." And we sat there and cried together across the table and dabbed at our happy tears with our napkins. Because she knows how hard it is for me to hope for that. How much of a question mark there is over where he is intellectually and what that means for his future. Just a day earlier, I heard my nephew say to my sister-in-law, "I know he's 3 1/2, but he acts more like he's 2." And he was matter-of-fact, not at all malicious, or mocking. And he's right.

But there might be hope. There is hope. And there are more words. And there is so much more laughter. And there is still crying and screaming -- and some of it is from me and some is from the kids. nd some of it is normal and some of it is just our normal.

And I'm getting to know my son.


And I sit here and I wonder, if there are days that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, will there be anyone there to watch it grow with me or is the darkness in my life the only thing that anyone wants to see, to hear about, to be close to?

If the thing that makes me feel so isolated starts to get better, is that when I will truly be alone?