Dear Jackson,

December 9, 2009

Snowstorms & Loneliness

Filed under: Birth to 1 year-old — Tags: , , — aJOHNymous @ 4:12 pm

The last few months are a little blurry. So much has gone on. You were baptized, went to Florida, Halloween came and went (we dress you up as a monkey), you met new family members at Thanksgiving, and now we’re preparing for your first Christmas. The time has just flown by. 5 months already.

You saw your first major Wisconsin snowfall last night. I stood next to the window and held you as you watched the snowflakes scatter through the sky and land on the ground. You didn’t look all that impressed. I wonder what goes through your mind as you see these things for the first time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really do envy you. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you and you’re seeing and experiencing new things everyday. You’ve got so much to look forward to and you don’t even know it.

Envy.

Jealousy.

Desire.
Regret.

Guilt.

Damn these digressions.

You also finally started smiling, cooing, and even laughing. The first time I heard you actually laugh was a moment I wish I had captured on video. I felt my eyes get a little misty. You seem to like being tickled on your chest and sides. That will usually bring out a few smiles and coos. You really start freaking out when I tickle your face and ears. It’s pretty funny, actually. You kick your legs around and make these weird sounds, but I’m quite confident that you’re enjoying it. You’ll usually give me a big smile when I hold you up over my head and you’re looking down at me. I’ve had to work to avoid your drool hitting my face when I do this. The risk is worth it, though.

Let me go back to last night’s snowstorm for a moment.

The power went out at about 10pm. The shitty part was that our block was the only one affected. The houses across the street had power, but we did not. I figured it would come back on shortly, but when it was still out at 11, I started to worry. Losing power during a snowstorm in winter is a scary thought for one reason: no heat. Your mom and I knew you couldn’t stay in the house overnight because it might get too cold so we called her parents and your grandpa came and took the two of you home with him for the night. I stayed at home with the dog in order to watch the house and make sure the refrigerator and freezers didn’t leak. Oh, and I failed to mention that your grandpa picked you up because we couldn’t get the automatic garage door open. This left me with no access to a car and no access to a snowblower. When your mom and you took off, I was officially at the mercy of the electric company.

The house was dark, intensely quiet, and I was alone—save for the dog. It gets damned lonely when the only sound you can hear is the whipping of the wind and snow outside. This level of quiet and solitude does bad things to my brain. I need to be occupied by other thoughts because inside my head is a pretty fucked up world that I’d like to avoid at all costs. I think this is one of the biggest reasons that I love to watch movies and read so much—it’s an escape from my own dark thoughts.

So, without a TV or an internet connection, I cracked a book. I hopped into bed with a flashlight pointed at the white ceiling—which illuminated the room—and read a few chapters from the autobiography of Robert Englund (he played Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies).

I love reading biographies about interesting people. Well, I love them and I hate them all at the same time. It’s fun to read backstage, behind the scenes type stuff but at the same time, it reminds me just how little I’ve actually done with my life. Blah blah blah. You’ve heard this all before so I’ll spare you my selfish complaining for now.

The point I’m trying to make here is that this was my first time actually being away from you by choice. I felt like I had abandoned you or something. It’s damned tough knowing how close you were but not being able to see or say “good night” to you. I have that connection with you now. When I smile at you, you smile back. I may not get to see you as often as I’d like, due to work and such, but I’m always thinking about you. I have your pictures all over my desk at work so if I ever need a boost, I just look up at your smiling face and I’m good to go.

5 months in and I finally get it.

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