Monday, March 01, 2010

Odd little weekend

First a big shout to all the Jibans. You guys rock.

We've had a big week. Last weekend was action-packed, we saw the doctor on Thursday, and Alastair got to see a movie on Friday night.

We started Saturday morning bright & early with a trip to the dyno. I've had the Miata for 4 years and never once stopped to actually check the motor. Alastair helped out by getting up early, eating his breakfast really well, and generally being very amenable to the morning's activity (we watched one pull before he asked to go back into the relatively quiet office, where he got to play with the shop puppy).

Then it was off to the Little Gym for "Bring a Friend" week. Alastair's friend Kaden met us there, and they had such a great time playing together. It's fun to watch them play in an environment where you're not really responsible for their behavior.

But then lunch was an absolute chore. We went to Panera, where he took forever-and-a-day to eat a sandwich, twice as long to eat his yogurt, and then dropped most of his cookie on the floor. He wasn't happy, and his unhappiness made me unhappy, so nap time was most welcome.

I dropped him off at his Grammy's after nap and headed down to Williamsburg for a night of bowling (followed by an afternoon of karting).

The boy I picked up yesterday afternoon was the same bad-mood boy I dropped off, augmented by a bad spill he took on the driveway as we left. And a runny nose. Oh joy, we're gonna be sick again.

Toys R Us, Mexican for dinner (sopapillas for dessert), and a bit of Mario Kart before bed.

A fairly busy weekend, so really it wasn't surprising that we got on each others' nerves a bit.

But then we both woke up with nightmares this morning, and he's been coughing horribly all day. My nightmare consisted of me being in a group therapy session (something I've never done), puling about how much I wish I'd been there in Amanda's last conscious moments. The therapist then asked me if there were any two or three things Amanda could have said to me that would have been life-changing. In other words, could my having been there have really made a big difference?

And it's been on my mind all day. I suppose I wish she could have explicitly named the school she wanted him to attend, but if I'd been there, would I have been quick to call her parents, or would I have pulled the plug too soon, thereby robbing them of the opportunity to say their goodbyes? But really, the way it went down is the way it needed to. Her father was there, and he's much more level-headed in those types of scenarios than I am. He was able to make the necessary calls and arrangements.

Why this would wake me up in a cold sweat is truly vexing. It's perfectly rational stuff to wonder--it's not like I was dreaming of being chased by an ax-wielding madman.

Alastair's nightmare was that Vivienne had died. He woke up extremely upset that she was gone, and I curled up in the bed with him and assured him that she was just fine, that she wouldn't die for a long long time.

I'm not really sure what to make of this. I'm guessing our choreographed nightmares are as much a result of our dietary choices as anything else, but the fact is that he's been talking about death more and more. I hadn't seriously considered putting him into counseling because most of it is geared for slightly older children, but given how much of his time it seems to take up, he might be ready for more help than I can provide in understanding the meaning of death.


Kim said...

Catching up on your recent rash of blog entries, and well, feeling a bit heartbroken for, and in some small way, with you. I wonder if its the impending one year mark that has Amanda all over my brain, and can only imagine how it is for you and Little A. I miss your wife, too.

As for the coordinated nightmares, I won't dare speculate. Perhaps it's the spring-like days reminding you both of this time last year. Maybe on some celestial level Amanda's closer than she's been able to be the past year. Or maybe just now the realization of the finality of it all is sinking in. I have no answers.

Hugs to you and Little A. I hope the days get easier, and the happy memories outweigh the what-ifs a little more every day. Shanthi.

Jadine said...

Just know that you are in the hearts and minds of the Pajiban family as well as many other commenters and lurkers across the interwebs. What I know is this, time heals absolutely nothing, but as it passes it makes pain, loss and heartbreak far more bearable. Positive thoughts and vibes are being sent to you and little A.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Therapy doesn't work for everyone, and it doesn't work for all cases, but as someone who was obsessed with death at about the age little A is now, I think it sure couldn't hurt.

I'd like to detail this in an e-mail, but since I can't find yours, I'll just stay anonymous for now.

I was about 3 or 4, when it started, when I asked my mom about death and she answered with tales of heaven, I asked her why we didn't all just die right now, if heaven was so great? This question evolved into a fear (well, more accurately, a terror) of death, and a constant inner dialog with myself about the purpose of life and living. A couple of years later, when I was about 6, my fear became incapacitating. I couldn't walk anywhere near anything with a poison sign on it (the skull and cross-bones), I couldn't swallow properly for fear of choking, or swallowing poisonous insects (don't even ask, I have no idea where that one came from). When I was 7, my parents put me into therapy. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what happened in there. I remember some toy plastic dinosaurs, and drawing a picture of my family in crayon. But evidently, it helped. I still have problems (who doesn't?), and the death fear still ebbs and flows, but the more clinical aspects are pretty much gone, and I'm living a normal, if stressful, life as a student.

All of this makes me likely, when people have long-term, unresolved issues, to suggest therapy as a course of action. Of course, I've seen it doesn't work for everyone all the time - that could be the person, the problem, or the therapist. But nothing I've seen suggests to me that it isn't worth a try. Little A's been through a lot, and if you think it would help him, give it a shot.

Always thinking of you and your family (in a strength-sending and well-wishing way, not a creepy way!)

~ anonymous

Anonymous said...

Lurker from Pajiba. Have been stalking your blog for the last year now. Thinking of you & hope you're hanging in there during this time of year.