Update from the fog

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I have been feeling really dreadful lately, so I’m just gonna whine.  As they say in the Lemony Snicket books, if you are looking for sunshine and flowers, this is not the post for you.

The word back from JCDS is not good.  Their original offer of half tuition stands, and there is no room for barter.  I had somehow managed to convince myself that something might work out that would make it easier to swing this thing, but now I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me again.  I’m back to crying all the time, both because I want this so badly for my son, and because (synecdoche alert!) losing the possibility of being part of the JCDS community is emblematic of everything else we’ve lost this past six months.

The truth is I still can’t accept it.  I still think he’s going to JCDS.  I still think the miracle is going to come.  I still think that somehow, I’m going to think of a brilliant strategy that’s going to make it all work out.

Magical thinking anyone?

Bill continues to work lots of hours and is making a few sales, but not (yet) enough to be able to support our family.  And by support our family, I mean the basics — food, gas, utilitites.  I am taking every mass offered, even when it means missing something I wanted to do. I am contemplating looking for a second church job for the summer.  (I’ll be done by 9:30 on Sundays, starting mid June.)

I feel guilty that I can’t seem to crawl out of this dark place and show my kids the optimism I want them to grow up to have.  It is so much easier to prioritize relationships, nature, creativity, and experiences over material things when the basics are assured.  As it is now, I feel constantly threatened.  I am gradually gaining mastery of the day-to-day stuff, but the emotional part I simply haven’t made peace with yet.  I feel lonesome, anxious, hopeless, defeated.  I feel like a failure every day.

I’m sure some of these sad feelings are influenced by the imminence of my birthday and Mother’s Day.  Last year, Mother’s Day and my birthday were darn near perfect.  We had my parents, my in-laws and my sisters in town for the weekend.  Bill made me an incredible birthday party, where I got to see friends from all over my personal map, eat delicious food (cupcakes!), and pass the afternoon singing for and with my friends.  Bill and I made brunch for our mothers the next day, and then I hung out with my sisters all afternoon.

This year my in-laws are coming again, but I don’t feel like celebrating.  I know that’s almost a sin.  I just can’t get there.  They are generally cheery, optimistic-type people.  It feels like a chore to meet them where they are even in the best of times.  Right now I just think it’s impossible.

My mom sent me a check for my birthday, and it just sits on my desk.  I can’t even figure out what I most want to spend it on.  Should I be practical?  (Akiva needs a belt, both kids need sandals, etc.)  Should I be indulgent?  (How to choose which indulgence, since I want all of them — sushi, a movie, a show, books, clothes that fit.)

And then there’s the tuition question.  How can I spend money when if I just saved a little more maybe I would be able to help Akiva go to JCDS?

If everyone who loves Akiva chipped in twenty bucks, we could totally do this deal.

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