Eleanor has been teething hardcore for a month now. Hardcore. Which means that, for a month now, her Mom & I have gotten progressively more and more loopy, nutty, sleep-deprived, and edgy. 'They tested this kind of thing on soldiers during the Korean War,' I've thought to myself many a night, lying awake to the sounds of Ella, kept awake by her own budding teeth. 'Bad shit happens as a result.'
Rearing an infant without the help of an extended family network is some difficult, difficult shit. Janelle & I both have parents & other family members who would step in and help us out in a minute. Problem is, they live too far away. We're doing this all alone. Folks, let me tell you: It's hard as hell. Like Janelle said to me last night, 'I now know why people who still live in the same town as their family of origin, when they have kids, they never leave. They live their whole lives there. They get support there.'
The fact is, like a lot of postmoderns, we're of at least two minds. We want community, but we don't want to put down permanent roots anywhere just yet. We hate suburbia, yet we can't survive in a smallminded town. We love nature, but we gotta live somewhere where we can work and make a living. In every direction there's a double bind. That's just the facts of existence right now.
Before Eleanor was born, I already knew these binds well. But now, they've all been driven home in a way that I could never imagine. It's put up or shut up time for us now. Theories and beliefs won't do. We have to create the reality that will support us...and that's hard on little or no sleep.
Last night, our little starling woke up every twenty-five minutes. Gawd knows we've put some serious late-night miles on our rocking chair, and on our bedroom slippers. I'd do anything for my daughter. And I'll keep seeing to it that she knows she's taken care of. I'll keep getting up and soothing her. But good God, man...good God.