Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Day

At Jazzercise class this morning, sweating, tripping and making peace with my inner 'spaz', a bubbly gummy pop song was playing. Part of the lyrics dealt with a 'happy day'. The instructor, the one who growls at us and doesn't hesitate to share her penchant for K.D. Lang and country music, told us to think of our happy day because most days aren't.

Without hesitation my happy day came to mind. It took place in a dimly lit delivery room. The weird windows faced not outside but to a faux courtyard in the middle of the hospital. It was midday and I had just given birth to my second son.

It was quiet. Ron was out calling friends and family, exiting the room with a combination of, "You should see him he's so small!" or "She was so tough. She only took seven minutes to get him out!". The nurses had taken my tiny bundle to the nursery to get a bath and get checked out. I lay, legs numbed by the epidural, in a semi-conscious state. I felt the fatigue of a marathon runner, as I had labored through the night. I felt the confidence from his latching on immediately after birth, slick, small and beautiful. I felt hungry, when would that darn lunch tray be delivered? I felt peace.

To have this be my happy day snuck up on my heart and psyche. I have only recently emerged from the grip of post-partum depression. The only vestiges remaining are the bottle of Lexapro and a mental-healthier commitment. My mothering has, of late, been so intertwined with pain, guilt and regret. Only recently have I truly learned to experience the joy of my children. As if the smoke from the fires of depression only sunk in on the surface, to be aired out by my babies belly laughs and my own smiles.

I almost wept in the middle of the stinky, sweaty exercise class. I wanted to cry because without my knowing it, in the midst of the sadness I had my happy day.

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