Last year I had hoped that by this year this week would be easier. This is the birthday week. Saturday is Monkey's sixth birthday. Sunday is the one year anniversary of A's due date. Oh, and did I tell you before that Monkey was born precisely on her due date? I think I did.
Last year I found a place for Monkey's party before A died, but then I didn't reserve the spot in time. And when I remembered, a week or so later, the good time slot was gone, and the other one had to do. It felt like a small but oh, so painful insult to go with my injury. It felt, at the time, like the biggest freaking deal in the world. After I reserved the space for the bad time slot, I procrastinated on more than a few things for a couple more weeks. Then this fierce need came over me, the need to make it THE!BEST!PARTY!EVER! for my one living kid. She wanted her brother to be born on her birthday, actually. She thought it would be the best thing. I couldn't give her that, not anymore. But in the name of the almighty plastic I could make her party rock. In the end, after a mad dash to find kid art smocks that would cost me no more than one of my appendages ended with a spectacular thud, Cecily told me to just get oversized adult t-shirts at a second hand store, and lo, all was well. With the party, anyway.
My parents came for that weekend, and so did my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother. My uncle helped a lot with the art activity for the kids at the party. My mom and aunt helped with the food preparation, for both the kid party and the thing we had at home afterwards for the family. In retrospect, that weekend was the last time I remember my grandmother really focused, and truthfully only until the moment when I showed her the pictures of A that she asked for almost the moment she arrived. After that it felt like she let go. At the time I though it was only for the rest of the weekend, but it might have been for good.
On Tuesday of that week a year ago we went for my not quiet six week check up, and to talk about the autopsy report that was officially completed about a week before. I got a pap that visit. I got my next one exactly fifty two weeks later, at my 13 week appointment. And even that, the much desired, the most desired change in our circumstances, even that wasn't enough to get me out of the funk that is this week.
I reserved the space early this year. (Two spaces, actually, because she is having another party, later, for the kids in her class and a few other favorite exclusively English-speaking friends. Little Miss Popular knows more kids than could be accommodated by any one place we considered.) But after I reserved the space? If you started spelling p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n even before you finished reading that last sentence, well, you win. Not the sharpest tool in the set, this one, so it took me a couple of weeks to figure out this birhtday preparations thing is one giant trigger. Did a few things once I figured it out, but put a lot of them off too. Like buying plates and such. The party is at a Science museum, so we wanted a science or space theme. Found nothing online. Put it off some more. Went to a store yesterday. Bubkas. Went again today. Same result. Hello? Do our kids not want to be astronauts anymore? I am telling you, it was depressing.
Had to buy something. Monkey wondered around for a long time before declaring that what is really striking her fancy this fine evening are pastel unicorns. I gave her a fair warning that the older boys are liable to make fun of her. She considered the possibility for a while but then declared that she would tell them she doesn't care what they think. I suggested telling them that since she put up with their Star Wars plates they would have to deal with the unicorns. That seemed like a good idea to her. But now I am stuck with the unicorns. Pastel unicorns. Well, actually, the unicorns are white, they are just seem to fly exclusively around pastel rainbow colored environs.
My parents are coming tomorrow afternoon. I still have to do laundry, make the whole shopping list, shop, cook, bake, decorate, and clean. Can't forget about the cleaning. Oh, and assemble party favors. That I have to buy first.
Is this what I am doing accidentally on purpose-- backing myself into a corner from which the only way out is a mad mad sprint to the finish? I could be, I may well be. My natural procrastinator tendencies are certainly not helped any by the weird thing this week has morphed into in my mind. Maybe next year it will be better. After all, next year Monkey's birthday will be a Sunday, and the due date anniversary will be a Monday, a whole new week. Right?
We are going to the cemetery on Sunday. Monkey wants to bring A some flowers. That, however, is a story for another day. Monday, I hope.