The day at work was full, productive, filled with moments where I knew what I was doing; knew what choices to make. No distractions. I didn’t feel underwater. I was competent. I was the embodiment of my “You got this.” mantra.
At home we cooked dinner, watched “Nathan For You” and shook our heads over the brilliance of his ideas. We fist-bumped goodnight, remembered to turn out the lights, lock the doors. I was genuinely impressed by how chill my 14-year-old son is.
I was asleep by 9:15, only woke up twice, dreamt of finding a buried treasure, didn’t glare at the phone alarm at 4:30. I felt good. I didn’t mourn for how things were two years ago. I didn’t think about everything I should have done differently. I didn’t fear for the mistakes I could make in the coming two years.
I woke Ayden. We joked in the kitchen. We turned on Spotify radio and played air guitar. We laughed over the time he got detention in grade school for playing air guitar in class after I’d taught the kids how to do a wicked rock’n’roll knee-slide across the kitchen floor.
Then Roger waters struck a ‘G’, strummed it into a ‘C’, and my stomach hit my knees.
“If you didn’t care/ what happened to me/ and I didn’t care/for you…”
Two years ago, as my birthday gift, Trast learned to play one of the many lullabies I’d sung to him over the course of his life. Now he’s gone, but probably still alive, and I didn’t spend one second yesterday making any efforts to find him. I haven’t even figured out what to do if I get the call that he’s been found. What do you possibly say to a child who, despite knowing how much hurt he’d caused the first time he took off, made an elaborate plan to run away again? How do you stop a child who wants to be gone from going?
“We would zig-zag our way/ through the boredom and pain/ occasionaly glancing up through the rain…”
I have never imagined my life without Trast, but had I been asked to, that’s how I suppose I would’ve thought of it. Miserable. Impossible. Boring and sad. Unsettled by the emptiness. And yet I had a good day. If I really cared about him, how could I have had a good day?
Ayden walked into my room, saw my hangdog expression, gently closed to lid to the laptop, stopping the music in its place. He reminded me that my lunch was on the kitchen counter, told me it was time to go, put his hand on the top of my head and shook his own head “no”, his subtle way of telling me that moping is worthless.
Outside we saw an old dude on a motorized bicycle pop a sick wheelie and we laughed so hard that a snot bubble came out my nose. We waved goodbye at his bus stop, still laughing. I turned back to him, pretended I needed to remind him to check in about a homework assignment, but really, I was memorizing the moment, giving it a new song.
To allow myself these good days does not diminish my love for Trast, or call into question my parenting. To have bad days, bad moments, is okay and expected. But these good days are important to the health of my family. Of course, they are important to Ayden and to me. They are also important to my relationship with Trast. I think he will be back some day, and when he is, I will need the strength of a million good days in between.
So, Mope on You Crazy Diamond, because for today, here’s the song I am choosing to tie on to the good days.