I just spent the good part of this afternoon and this evening trying to piece together why I find it so much more difficult to comprehend what is going on when I am at home versus when I'm at the hospital, looking at Will, with his past and his future right there staring me in the face.
I spent this afternoon with my 5 year old and an 8 year old doing very typical Saturday afternoon, little kid stuff... we watered the garden, rode scooters round the backyard, blew bubbles and watched Meg dance... again... and again... and again (there were lots and lots of improv dances). But there was this feeling lurking like, apologies for the bluntness, like someone had died. I don't feel like Will's died at all - but something in me today felt like my family had died. The family we once had - the good, bad and the ugly... will never be the same. I'm not even speculating if new family life will be better, worse or uglier... I'm just mourning the loss of the family we were 3 weeks ago. I sat with these feelings for some time tossing them around and came up with a new perspective on this that I thought I'd run past my 16 year old when I picked her up from a party at midnight (really, what was I thinking).
Picture an exhausted teenager in a car at midnight when her crazy mum starts with "you know what I was thinking tonight"... (Mmmm she replied)... I was thinking about that time in Thailand (we went on our very first overseas family holiday to Thailand this Christmas) when we moved from Phuket to Railay Bay, I said. And you, me and Will on the day we arrived were in the water - remember that beautiful blue water surrounded by the most incredible landscape in the world - and we were discussing that we didn't want to stay there and we wanted to go back to our cheesy, commercial, Western-style, Novatel Hotel in Phuket. The three of us came up with a detailed strategy about how to convince Dad that we couldn't stay (despite having been on this amazing island for no more than 2 hours). And that our strategy was to approach dad as a group after dinner and guilt him into taking us back to Phuket. Then Dad interrupted us and asked what we were talking about and Will blurts out... "we're not staying here, this is shit, there are things that bite you in the water, the room's too long a walk away and the pool is crap - we want to go back to Phuket". Just like that, strategy blown. So typical of Will to think no further than what he wants right then and there.
(Stay with me... this story has a point).
So - I say to Tess... what we're feeling right now is like what we were feeling in Thailand. We had a good family, daily routine going at the Novatel in Phuket and when we moved to Railay Bay, before we had time to even give it a chance, we wanted to be back in the familiar family routine we had going on for the previous week. As it turned out Railay Bay was our most favourite part of the trip - but we nearly missed out on that because we were too uncomfortable with the feelings of change.
Tess looked at me with the look only a 16 year old could give at that time of night and said; "mum, changing islands in Thailand is hardly the same as what's going on here"... and she proceeded to get out of the car and not look back.
Mmmm - I sense my deeper points about change, fear of change, judging too soon, resistance to new situations and routines, and fear of loss of control, was lost on her. Am hoping you guys get my point... it took me a while to come up with it!