Thinking in Circles

He’s coming in a week, and I have this strange pain in my chest: heartache, I guess. I can be tediously literal that way. The copyeditor’s curse.

I am successful in not thinking of him most of the time every day; okay, yes, I do think about him every day, but there are hours and hours when I don’t. There’s this part in Infinite Jest where a recovering addict is in unbelievable pain, but refusing medication for the obvious reason, and he is realizing that since taking it one day at a time is too much, he can split his pain and longing into smaller pieces; no single moment is unbearable, he thinks to himself.

There’s no way not to think about him every day. It’s mostly very small thoughts, and I am usually able to focus on the fact that he seems to be blossoming in the care of Nora, his Daddy. She changed jobs for him, you know—when Ruth found herself unable to have custody of him for long stretches of time, Nora left a lucrative job which required long hours and much travel (for another good job, I hasten to add. She’s doing okay). The pictures she sends show him grinning; when we’ve Skyped, he has seemed energetic and cheery. I am careful when I think about it, almost all of the time.

But then there are these times when some event or anniversary swings around when I can’t think about him without thinking about who is just—not just him, and not just a boy, but a boy who looks like my husband and sons—my boy. Nora’s boy, Ruth’s boy, and a boy who doesn’t know me much. But I miss him, when I let myself. And even if I could help it now, I have to let myself—or it will drown me when he’s here.

I miss him.

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Missing Mr. Book

Mr. Book is in the Midwest now. I’m very tired, but I think I have the better end of this deal; I get to spend my days with the boys. Still, Kit is going through a phase of wanting to nurse roughly every forty minutes at night, and I’m feeling pretty run down. Too, I keep expecting to see the Mister when I enter another room, or when he wakes up from his nap. I keep missing him, somehow, but some part of my brain has not registered that I’m not going to see him for a long time. At the same time, I’ve started making plans for a package to send when his birthday rolls around in April.

Joey is angry at his dad, and is working things out in his own toddler way. I was texting the Mister and Joey walked up to me, so I told him that I was using the phone to talk to daddy—so he said “Hey,” and then later, came up to me and said “Hey, Dada”; I asked whether he wanted to call daddy, he said yes, and we called. There have been a few speakerphone calls between Joey and his daddy, and Joey has already gone from pointedly shunning the phone (while listening intently) to quietly saying “Dada.” We’re planning to Skype for the first time this afternoon. I’m hopeful that it will be a good experience for Joey.

Mr. Book is pretty sad, but he’s already found a job and already been of help to his mother. The plan is basically working. I’m sending him pictures of the boys every day, and of course we’re talking.