We love each other. We want to find solutions. Even if it seems dim - through the fog of anger. But what is important to both of us, I have no doubt, is that we must also find solutions for Jay's sake. We simply can't bear that he should have parted parents, much less that he should have parents who bicker and argue most of the time. It makes him feel unsafe and it hurts him. Obviously. And we want the best for him. So we have to find a way back to the best in ourselves, even if it has been seriously challenged this past year. But we have to. There is not other way.
You can use the shared joy and responsibility to get a feeling of a bond - again and again. And a very strong one indeed. One that was lacking. But other bonds have to be strengthened again. Or it will be like a single rope, or perhaps two ropes, being pulled at all the time. That will not do. So: This summer it is time to rebuild. I want 20 summers more together. Or more. And I know she wants it as well. But we have to make begin now.
Our propensity to become angry with each other has been and is still strong, over all sorts of things. Mostly irrelevant things. So this will be the topic for the summer: How to heal. Because we are not split yet - obviously. But we are hurt. In more ways than one. I suspect we could ride it out on routine, love for Jay and dedication to him and to making at least every day work. But why settle with that? Why not use the summer to really think about this - how we can get back on track, and with more - lots more - love for each other than we have been able to show and give in the recent year? Why not? There is every reason to take this very seriously. I think this could be the most important summer yet.
It would really be a great help, and steady a lot of things, if one of us got a steady, high-paid job - after years of uncertainty here. And now with Jay along. So of course there is fear it won't come anyway. Or ever. But ... perhaps that fear just has to be accepted. Lived with. I mean, I can write all sorts of good things about how we are just going to press on if things don't turn out as we hope. But before that ... how about just accepting the fear instead of fighting it? It is not easy. But I will try. I think it actually helps.
"Whenever Char and I get angry at each other, and start again with the first thing: Remembering why we love each other." - affirmation.
Tomorrow it'll be Jay's 1st birthday and thus almost a year ago that we had a really hard experience getting him here. But I am heartened that despite the lingering pain of that memory, everyday new wonderful memories are added in the other stack - of his life, what it is, what it can be, what it will be. I guess that is called healing.
So we should see to it in the new year that we take more time off together - maybe go to another city and just loaf, go more to cafes and a bit on restaurants. We have to dig into Char's inheritance and maternity leave insurance, unless I make more money soon. But I think it is necessary. And yes, these are sweet activities we can do with Jay - i.e. without a sitter. He is still very young and it would be a lot to leave him for a night with someone else. It would not work yet. But go a bit more out together (and with Jay) that would work. Maybe going to another city and playing tourists. Just that. It will be enough. For now. But we have to do it!
Sometimes it is good to sum up your strengths before you head back into the ring. In fact, it is always good. Also in the breaks.
I can think of worse storms than becoming a father. Because this is a storm that leaves something valuable behind, after all the things are uprooted.
... maybe Char and I are robots now. And maybe a day like this is a confused mess, with deep clouds on the horizon still, and objective recognition that you are just not getting anywhere with your business, dreams, goals. But you have the spark. You have a smiling baby. You have a mom in good spirits. You have the will to accept the crappy work-hours and not whine, except maybe a little when you sit in the bus. You have these small victories and if you pile them up and focus on them, they look like something.
There are some wise words, if I recall - about economic decisions: They should only be made rationally. With your head, not your heart. That also goes for the decisions to prioritize other things, which cause you to forego earning money.
I spend at least 2-3 hours per day cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking and doing dishes, and I can spend those hours better. Like trying to make more money than we pay the cleaning lady. So I just have to do that. And be patient until I can do that, because cleaning lady or not, I still have to get up at night and carry Jay to Char so he can get his food - and many times during day, changing diapers, everything. We can't hire us out of that as long as Char's hand is damaged. We can only wait and remain calm and have faith that we have enough money - and help from our families - to do this, without too much cost. So that is what we do.
I had given away and sold hundreds of comics and books in the 9 months leading up to Jay's birth and still it wasn't enough to make room enough for a family. So I had to give away what really mattered, although it is only temporary. But felt, even so. A lot, in fact. I say this about comics, some from the 60s - with unforgettable stories and worth some money. You might say this about something else. But I'd like to think you'd do the same, if you found that there really was no other priorities that made sense.
Family time is, after all, your most important asset in life, perhaps more important than money - at least in many situations.