Friday, February 22, 2008

In the Night

At 4:15 a.m., V. wakes up: in sixty seconds, she goes from whimpering to inconsolable. This happens sometimes.

And I finally realize that--as I scramble to get her out of our bedroom so her screaming won't wake up Adinah (who wakes up anyway), and I hurry to get her changed and make her a bottle of tea and try to comfort her with little pats on the leg--I finally realize that she's gonna wake up like this sometimes. Maybe for a long time. I realize that her screams and miserableness don't mean I'm doing something wrong, or not changing her gently enough. She's not even howling because she'd rather Anette was doing this (although of course she'd prefer that.) In short, she's not howling because of us.

Whether she wakes up screaming because of what she experienced as an infant, or because of anything anyone did to her, is hard to say. I'm not a shrink. All I can do is trust my own senses. This morning V. sounds angry and scared. Three nights ago, when she woke up and I tried and failed to comfort her, she sounded sad. She cried like a grown-up crying about something she can't change.

She had a resignation in her.

She laid in my lap and she cried like that and I let her.

* * *

And after Anette came and took her and calmed her and put her back in bed, I wasn't angry at V. for waking us or for anything else. I was angry at her bio-mom.

I was sick and fucking tired of being sympathetic. I'm not gonna be understanding all the time. Fuck that.


So I thought some bad things, and I said a few of them out loud.

And maybe that's okay, as long as I don't curse V.'s bio-family in front of V. I don't know.

Today I told a co-worker some of this, and she said, "Maybe it's good that you're pissed off now. When V. gets older, she's gonna be pissed off too. Maybe you'll be able to talk about it with her, because you will have already gone through some of it."

Yeah, well, as Irma Thomas sang, "May-hay-be. Maaa-ayyy-bee. May-be. Maybe."

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