SATURDAY, March 20 – Listless and agitated at the same time, I get angry with Sander for no reason, which makes me angry with myself.
I’m pissed off at the parents of Eamonn’s friend, who have simply dumped their son on us, while they go downtown to shop together. Together. I think bitterly of the fun they’ll have.
I stroll down Beethoven Street and walk into a couple of stores, just to watch people. I’m lonely. I feel abandoned. I know Jennifer would have thought up something interesting to do with the boys, done something on her own, or all four of us together. And me? My specialty is making time pass by doing nothing.
I pace around the house, walk into her study, and with a wide sweep of my arm, I send everything on the table crashing to the floor. Her handbag comes to a halt upside down, and a tampon lands at my feet.
16.40 – Five shirts ironed. Now what?
Lying on my bed, I stare up at the ceiling. Have no idea what the boys are up to. Somehow or other they’ve managed to get through the day. Just as at some point it’ll dawn on me that it’s evening. That’s how meaningless it all seems. So somber. So insignificant within the all-encompassing entity of life.
Is every day going to be like this? The rest of the year? For years to come? Who’s going to guide the boys through high school and on to college? Who’s going to encourage them and kindle their enthusiasm? Who’s going to do all that? Right now I see myself as a worthless, totally inadequate human being. The only thing I manage to do is keep the household functioning: a meal now and then and the laundry.
I iron the two remaining shirts.
23:00 – Eamonn was sitting dejectedly on the couch right after his friend left – who proved that he wasn’t a real friend by calling him an ‘oddball’. Fine. We won’t be inviting him over again. It was all too much for my little guy, the reversal in a false friendship. Who can he rely on?
He mumbled something about not having very many friends at school and that sometimes he felt excluded. Later on I realized that all I had to do was give him a big hug, but I went on and on, trying to impress on him how special he was, how intelligent, how generous, in short: a cool kid.
He retorted that I shouldn’t say that because it wasn’t true. We tossed a few complimentary and less complimentary traits back and forth, until it seemed like a good idea to just go to bed. However, not before he grabbed hold of me and said, ‘I wish Mom was here.’
I know all too well that Jenn would have been able to give him more love and self-confidence than I did. But I’m doing my best and he knows it.