It has been raining since I woke up this morning. Griffin had a bit of a rough night. The other three upper teeth that started coming in about a week ago are finally making their way through his gums. He had a restless night and therefore I had a restless night. I would like nothing more than to curl back in bed and fall asleep to the sound of the rain beating against my window, but I’m supposed to be working from home. A girl’s work is never done.
It was a bit chilly in the house this morning and as I walked upstairs to grab a light jacket, I stopped at the front door and watched the rain. It has almost been a year since we had Griffin and I stood in this exact spot, looking out this same window, holding him and wondering if things would ever get better. Those days when Patrick was at work and my family was back in Chicago and I felt so alone. No neighbors. No friends. Just me and Griffin. We would take walks in the mornings. Walks in the “nice neighborhood” – the one with the homes with the three-car garages and professional landscaping. The ones where the moms don’t ever have to go back to work. We did that every morning and every afternoon to try to calm the colic. One day it was absolutely pouring. Buckets of rain. No walking for us. We took a quick trip to the local library and checked out a ton of baby books (I showed Griffin a bunch of books and when he “smiled,” I determined that those were the ones he wanted me to check out for him). I still remember the books we got: Let’s Nosh!, Hola Jalapeno!, and First Book of Sushi (even now I still say to him the part of the book that always made us laugh: “Miso in my sippy cup, tofu in my bowl. Crab and avocado fill my California roll.”). I carried him in his car seat through the parking lot of the library and got soaked because I couldn’t figure out how to carry the car seat and hold an umbrella at the same time and I didn’t want to be a bad parent and stuff all the library books on top of him, so I got soaked and he was screaming (but dry!). Was this what being a parent was all about? Uncertainty? Confusion? Always feeling like you’re doing the wrong thing? Always feeling like someone is going to criticize what/how you’re doing something?
We left and I was tired and hungry and anxious because his colicky time was coming up and I didn’t want to deal with it. I drove home in the rain and all I could think of was to sing the old nursery rhyme “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring,” but I just changed it to “Griffin isn’t snoring” because I really, really wanted him to go to sleep for a little while. When we got home, my mother-in-law showed up and brought me lunch. She helped me with Griffin during his colic and told me to go upstairs for a little while to get a break from the screaming. I sat in his room and watched the rain. I could still hear his screams. There wasn’t much that could block those out. I cried thinking about all of those moms who were rocking and enjoying their babies while mine screamed for hours. I cried and put my fingers in my ears.
I sat in Griffin’s room this morning and watched the rain. I closed my eyes and listened to it beat against his windows. It’s almost one year later and the colic is gone and the screaming is gone. Griffin has even taken a few steps. In a really weird, really twisted way, I would like to go back to that day. That rainy day in August when I felt alone and confused and scared. When I thought he would never stop screaming and I would never stop crying. If I could go back knowing what I know now – that there would be an end to the colic and that I would make it through that darkness – I would have done things differently. I would have savored each day a bit more.