Isolation Thoughts

By Natalie

Anyone else not know what to do with their kiddos and just letting them climb the cat tower?

I figured, what’s the harm?

Let’s talk about all of this extra head space I have. I can’t decide if it’s amazing to have a cleared schedule and time to talk with you or if it’s driving me bonkers. I want to encourage you but I also want to ramble and tell you random things like how I don’t like the nickname Nat. Some people call me Nat and I loathe it. But others call me Nat, innocently, when they first meet me, somehow I find that endearing, so I don’t correct them. For them, inexplicably it’s ok. Now you know.

What is a library lover without her library? Quite uninspired I tell you. For a solid month I couldn’t pick up a book. Already isolated, I didn’t feel like I needed a chaos break, to immerse myself in a book. A feeling fellow readers have felt across the board it seems at a time like this. However, now as our state slowly begins to re-open, I’m feeling the isolated time slipping away from me. The introvert in me woke up and started swallowing books whole. I’d better get my reading in before I have to start sharing my time. It’s felt right to have a solid book resting in my lap again. But the library itself, oh I long for it. To stroll down the aisles, eyes fleeting over titles, hands reaching for not just a book, but for a whole new world. To stand and read the book jacket and then quickly realize my toddler is making an escape through the bottom shelf into the next aisle, I toss the book in my bag and hope for the best while I grab my little girl by the ankles and pull her back through underneath the Agatha Christie mysteries. Those were the days.

I came across this article recently and thought I might bring back that saying, When cobwebs are plenty, kisses are scarce. Because that sounds right up my ally! I love old sayings and always giggle when someone says one I haven’t heard before. Something like, a bird in hand is better than two in the a bush. 

When I read, We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed, I felt very much like I was sucker punched because that sounds true. I thought, “What should I be doing to not live complaining and die disappointed?” But… that sort of contradicts another matter that I have been mulling over, which is telling myself things like, “Oh it wasn’t so bad.” Anyone else told yourself, “It could have been worse.” to things that happened in your life? This little white lie can be so damaging. I think I’m done saying it wasn’t so bad. Sometimes a complaint for a time is necessary for a happy thriving future.

For at least a solid year now I have stopped brushing things aside. I’m yanking them out by their ears and telling myself it was that bad. And sure someone else, somewhere else definitely had it much worse than I, but it was still that bad. I believe the only path to healing is through acceptance and honesty. To not accept something for what it was, is to lie to oneself. I have for years pretended to move on and tell myself it could have been worse. My broken childhood, it could have been worse, I could have gone without much more. Yet, I still I felt depressed and why was that, if it could have been worse? The answer to that question that has been racking my brain is because it was still that hard. It was still broken whether it could have been worse or not. Allowing myself to accept grief for those things I went without or lost has allowed me to move on. Slowly, I will admit, but I do feel a forward chug. That this time of grief will be over soon and I can move on with my life. Telling myself that it wasn’t so bad only brought frustration and depression.

Wouldn’t you know, I’ve been thinking about my nanny boys so often. Felicity is probably bringing up old memories I’d forgotten I had stored. When she squirmed around on the couch pretending like she was going to nap there, I was reminded of a time when Grant requested the same and I actually let him. I snuggled with him on the recliner and we napped blissfully together until the bus came. When I think we should have ice cream as an afternoon snack but quickly brush the idea aside I’m reminded of all the times I got a scoop of chocolate for Jack at my favorite ice cream shop. Recently I’d recited a book for Felicity in a way that Ryder loved. He giggled every time I turned to his favorite  page and loudly declared, “YOU! YOU stole my hat!” Felicity doesn’t have quite the same reaction that he did, but I do it anyway, because it reminds me of him. Often I’ll catch Felicity flipping through her books in her tent, just as I’d find Teddy in the corner of his room, pulling books from his basket, thoughtfully soaking them in.

Much the same as I feel time slipping with Felicity now, I had no idea how fleeting the time with those boys would be. I wish I read one more Berenstain bears book with Jack. Threw the football to Caleb more often and found more opportunities to giggle with Ryder. I miss those boys, all five of them, deeply, deeply. There is a part of me that aches for the fact that they will never feel or remember what I felt for them, what I still feel for them. My Nanny Boys I call them. They are a piece of me still. It’s this beautiful heartbreaking love that I can’t explain and I don’t think I could relate to anyone but a former nanny. There is no love like it.

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