You can't push your tears back in. You can try, but the sadness will find its way, every time. That is what I want to teach Eden, and also myself. You can't make it go away, and it is the balance to joy, to laughing, which we have a lot of, but it gets mucked up without the yang of tears and heartbreak.
At counseling we talked about Jude being in the hospital, and me being so upset that I couldn't speak, really. The family counselor asked Eden what that felt like for him. "Fine."
So different than Sage and Jude. Sage expresses his feelings to everyone and everything with insight and eloquence, and I say everything because I have seen him filled with compassion to the point of tears for inanimate objects. No problems getting in touch with our emotions for Sage and me. And Jude, because when he is unhappy you can hear him in Nebraska. We are all out there.
Don and Eden are a different story. I am mystified by the reluctance to share, and the withdrawal that happens when I probe. So different. So strange. Like alien creatures, these people who pretend that they are not upset. Take me to your leader, I want to study your kind.
Counselor knows her stuff though, she presses, gently, and finally gets Eden to say what he is thinking.
"I was thinking," he says, staring at his Legos, that it was, (fingers to the eyes) my fault."
I open my mouth to protest but the counselor holds up a hand.
"Why is that, Eden?"
"Because I was glad he was gone so I couldn't hear him scream and we didn't have to watch Thomas all the time." Now the tears come. I get down on the floor with him. "I understand," I said. "Jude has been screaming a lot. I get tired of it too." Eden melts into my arms.
The next day I ask him about it again. "Remember how you said you felt guilty when Jude was sick, that you felt like it was your fault?"
"Honey, yes you do. It was just yesterday."
"I forgot about that."
"Is there anything you want to say today?" I ask. He thinks a moment, then whispers in my ear.
"Sometimes I wish Jude didn't have autism".
"Me, too," I whisper back This is our secret, however openly kept, because we always try so hard to be cheerful, and grateful, and we are, and we do love Jude, and think he is awesome, but it is also as hard as hell sometimes, and we wish it was different.
Is that okay? Can we be sad and disappointed and frustrated and happy and joyful at the same time?
Well we are, and I guess it has to be okay, and I wonder if other families cry and laugh and love as much in one single day as we do. It has to be okay to for Eden to say he is mad, and tired, and wishes it was different. God knows our hearts, and he counts our tears, even if we try to push them back in with our fingers so no one else can see.