There's a giant deer fly circling my head as I walk gingerly through the sunlight field that leads to the lake. I'm dressed in my beat up old flip flops and a ten year old bikini. Dermot lets out a small burp while we travel down to the beach, then unfortunately, he throws up on my chest. Oh well, we can rinse off in the lake. It's at least 50 more feet and my biceps are burning from carrying his 36 pound body all the way from my mom's deck. I'm overcome by fear. It sweeps over me like a wave. I stop to collect myself, as I continue on three or four other flies have joined the other in efforts to drive me completely insane.
I stop at the incline. Twenty steps to the water. Fifteen of them are at a steep, dirt filled incline. "I hate this!" I say to myself. I look down in the water to see my husband playing joyfully with my six-year old. My step-dad is guiding my two-year old through the murky water. Smiles so big I can see all of their teeth. It's funny the flies circling them don't seem to be bothersome. My mom stands in ankle deep water and asks "do you need any help honey?" "No, I'm fine" I say. I am clearly not fine. I've got puke flowing down my chest, my arms are struggling to keep Dermot up and I'm praying to God that I don't wipe out on the hill that separates me and Dermot from the rest of my family.
I made it. I'm still really shaky. I don't mind one bit sitting in the city wading pool with Dermot. But the idea of sitting on the bottom of the lake with the weeds and leeches freaks me out. I want to go back to the cabin, bring Dermot back up there, take his swimsuit off and wrap him up in a warm towel and sit inside where it's safe. I don't. My husband offers to take Dermot, I quickly agree and hand him over. I decide to keep my flip flops on in the lake and I walk out to where my two year old is wading. I take him out to the deeper water with me and rinse the puke from my suit. then he goes back to grandpa and I start kicking out away from the weeds, away from the leeches, away from the flies. I feel it start to lift, I'm coming back. Sue. Here I am. Right here.
I don't want to run, I don't want to eat, I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to read, I don't want to weed the garden, I don't want to write. These are the things I KNOW make me feel better.
I don't want to pour one more drop of formula in that syringe, or wipe one more drip of spit up or suction up one more ounce of secretions or wash one more puke filled t-shirt. These are the things I KNOW I have to do everyday.
I've been holding it all in. The longer it stays in, the easier a moment like swimming in the lake destroys my sanity. Things start to fall apart, I stop caring for myself, I start expect too much from others and I lose perspective. Oh how easy my life would be if Dermot was typical. We could go anywhere and do most anything as a family and not even think twice about it. But then I wouldn't have Ryan, I wouldn't have all the friends that are in my life, I wouldn't truly know who I am and what I'm capable of doing. I can't take any of it back, but I do need to talk about it occasionally. I can't pretend I'm fine all the time. I can't worry about what you'll think of me if you see me crying again. The truth is, I cry a lot. But it's way worse when I don't.