Oh, it’s been the best and worst week. The big wins were hosting a big Christmas dinner for both families (I felt so very adult) and my brother and his girlfriend getting engaged (yay guys!).
The harder part was taking care of Poncho. My ex (Poncho’s human father) has pretty much taken over his care since Jonah was born. I thought our crowded house during the holiday would be the perfect way to care for him.
I was wrong. Poncho was so unsettled the whole time. Despite a few long walks, many people petting him and lots of treats, he stayed up both nights barking at phantoms and pawing at us while we tried to sleep.
I could feel him asking me why we couldn’t go back to our normal life when it was just me and him. It was so sad to have to tell him “no” continually. I can’t play because I’m nursing the baby. I can’t pet you because I’m changing him. I can’t make things go back to the way they were.
I was exhausted both physically and emotionally by how to make him feel better and was starting to realize that I just couldn’t.
So when, on Christmas night, my aunt offered to take him until my ex got back, I knew I had to say “yes.” As I got his food together, I really broke down. It’s so hard to admit that I just can’t do it right now. He needs more attention and care than I can give him and I think we both just have to be heartbroken about that.
I’m lucky that he has a great home with my ex and a superstar team of people to dog-sit for him. Still, I want to take it all with me. I don’t want to look at the losses that come along with the immensely joyful gains of this past year.
But if I don’t, I’m not really living life in an intact way. My wholeness comes from looking straight at the heartbreak and holding it as tenderly as I hold my sweet baby. It’s not easy, but I know I won’t be the kind of mother (or human being) I wish to be unless I do.
So, as we step into 2018, I’m counting them all: the beautiful births, the tragedies that hit us all and the immense gift of being alive.