Words fail me. It’s beyond indescribable. Nothing exists in the English language to adequately convey how I feel. Such sentiments fill my posts with increased frequency…yet it’s the worst possible combination of a shell shocked writer’s block and uncontrollable word vomit. One would be a fool to mistake this silence for lack of fresh material or apathy on my part. If only.
I’ve been at a complete and total loss since my arrival in California. What the hell am I supposed to say to people about my life? Should I give them the sweet Southern smile and pretend like everything’s just fine and dandy? Tell them it’s not something I want to discuss? Blame pending legal issues? Plead the Fifth and say comment? EVERYONE WILL BE ASKING AND I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ANSWER.
We could always discuss the scintillating films on my Netflix queue. Or the fact that my desk job keeps me sane and my maternity leave cannot end soon enough. There is an upcoming deadline for JiLTED. Once in a blue moon I may even be a social butterfly and hit the town in a G-rated way with a select group of friends I can count on one hand. It’s a quiet existence confined largely to my apartment.
“But Sloane!” you may gasp incredulously. “You’re a Mommy. Adam will be four next week and Tatum’s only a month old. With a rambunctious preschooler and a newborn, how can anything be quiet?!”
My humble abode is eerily calm…nary a coo or a cry from an infant. No diapers, formula, onesies, or Baby Einstein DVD’s here for my daughter. Our first few weeks of bonding time were spent in the home I grew up in with my parents, in Memphis.
Although his Cars bed and Thomas the Tank Enginetable adorn his bedroom, my son’s clothes are folded neatly in the closet. He’s never set foot in my apartment. And that Christmas tree goes nowhere until he does.
Take away a mother’s children and you have a woman with absolutely nothing to lose. Every second of my life without Adam and Tatum by my side is pure agony. Can you even imagine how difficult it was for me to board a plane leaving my three-week-old daughter with my parents while I flew 2000 across the country—completely alone? Can you even imagine how difficult it was for me to have to miss scheduled visits with my son, knowing he couldn’t even begin to understand why? Can you even imagine how difficult it is for my two children to have never met one another? Pictures and various materials here and there are the only evidence in this home that I have kids…
I speak often of the Three F’s…Faith, Family, and Friends. There’s a fourth one: FIGHTING. Tatum’s safe and in the best possible hands. I’ll stay in California for as long as it takes and never stop fighting for Adam. You can guarantee I will not leave this state without my son. I’ll make enough noise until everyone is forced to listen and that’s a promise.
Forgive this highly melodramatic river analogy– but I feel as though I’m drowning in the volatile and deceptive rapids of this cruel system. Sometimes I thrash wildly and scream, doing whatever I can to in a vain attempt to make it to shore. How I wish I could grasp a branch to give me a brief respite, though time is not a luxury I can afford. I should resist the urge to fight with every ounce of my being. Focus only on keeping my head above water so I don’t overexert myself. Logic tells me to conserve my strength so I go limp and allow myself to be carried with the current…only to be sucked into a vicious undertow. Gasping for air, I am propelled downstream towards a strip of land. Relief! Yet it is deadly quicksand, designed only to trap me while appearing relatively innocuous. By some miracle I extricate myself and reach the end of the river where it is calm and shallow….only to notice the alligators smacking their lips as the circle around me tightens. Welcome to my nightmare.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,