Monday, March 4, 2013
A Postcard from a Tropical Isle
A week turned into a month. They say the days are long but the years are short. Try as we might to soak up the time, this parenting stuff is overwhelming and sometimes, all you can do is hang on.
It's like you and your partner were in a hot air balloon crash and ended up on a deserted, tropical island. You lost an eye and your leg is all mangled and your partner's hand is crushed, but you both want to survive, so you make a splint for your leg and a jaunty eye patch and wrap up your partner's hand and you build a shelter and make fire and find coconuts and fish.
You hold each other when there are unrelenting storms. It's tough but you're making the best of it! After a while, you can even laugh together about the day you learned there are herds of wild boars roaming the island.
Time passes. It's clear you're going to survive but you're so tired and you say, "Listen, I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but I was in a pretty serious hot air balloon crash not to long ago and I really need to concentrate on recuperation." but then your partner holds up his or her little stump of a hand and says, "Tell me about it."
It's easy to get annoyed with each other, to remark in a nasty tone that there is a lot less sand in the drinking water when you fetch it. Sometimes you fantasize about limping away and finding a cave you can hide in in private. Sometimes you're out in the water and you're supposed to be hunting for fish with a make-shift spear but you're really just bobbing and wondering what you'd see if you swam hard towards the horizon for an hour or so.
Of course, you know this happens. You know people alone on their tropical islands, finding edible berries on their own, keeping the little fire going throughout the night. They want to survive just like anyone else.
The sunsets and sunrises, however, are spectacular. If a rescue boat came at that moment, maybe you'd just wave them off. I suspect if we sit tight, we'll learn in a year or so that the island may be a peninsula. Maybe.