I can't sleep.
I never thought I would ever say it, but I miss Provo.
I miss the mountains.
I miss my friends.
I miss my garden.
I miss my house.
My house. Some of my happiest memories come from that little house on 200 North. The house where my first baby took her first steps, tasted her first foods, had so many firsts. The house where she spent most of her babyhood. Our first night here in Chicago, Lily told me, "I'm ready to go home now." I cried right along with her after I explained that this new house is our home now. We still haven't adjusted. It's been a month and for a minute, I thought I was getting used to it. But I can't. This house is so brown. Brown walls, brown carpet, brown edging, brown linoleum. Everywhere I look, I see brown. It bothers me that I am so wrapped up in such shallow things, but I have this stupid internal need to make my surroundings beautiful. It's been a problem for me since I was a little girl. I remember spending hours cutting out pictures from magazines and collaging them onto my bedroom walls. But it's not really the brown that is keeping me from sleep tonight. It is that my mind has finally caught up to the idea that there is no going back. Our chapter as being poor college kids is closed. All that is left are pictures. I wish I had taken more. I wish I had enjoyed it all a little more. I have the feeling that I'll be feeling this way the rest of my life about everything, especially about my babies growing up. Time is slipping through my fingers like water.
The worst thing is that I feel so empty. This is the time of my life when I should be bursting with happiness. I have a successful husband, beautiful children, and all of the amenities any middle class American woman could desire. Why then, do I feel so utterly empty? I can't tell if it is the adjustment to a new place or something more. I am so terrified of sinking back into the recesses of postpartum depression that I cling on to any sort of external stimulation that I can. I accept every play date invitation, every dinner, every visitor that comes to my door. Yet at the end of the day, the black emptiness returns and I can't put my finger on why. There is no emotion behind anything I say or do any more. I speak without hesitation. I forget that other people have feelings.
I can only imagine the torment that Lily is enduring. She is sleeping in a strange room, in a strange city, away from almost everyone she knows. My heart aches thinking of how she is probably feeling similarly to me, but is unable to identify her emotions or understand why she feels them. We are cramming in as many trips to the park, splash pad, library, and ice cream parlor that we can. She too reaches out to every little friend that she can; from the nursery children at church to the random child in the grocery store aisle. I see the loneliness in her eyes and it pierces me quite deeply.
On a happier note, Jack is an easy baby. I can anticipate his hunger, naps, and bowel movements. He is perfectly content to stare at his older sister, have his diaper changed, and be nursed every few hours. He has been sleeping 7-9 hours at night without any prompting from me and I am so grateful. This funk that I'm in would be exponentially worse if he was still waking up every two hours to nurse.
I don't know quite how to end this, but as I'm out of Kleenex and it's almost 4:00AM, I should probably attempt to get some sleep before the morrow thrusts itself upon me.
(Unrelated) here's a cute picture of Lily lining up my measuring cups one morning at our old house, about a year ago: