one fair, three very different summers

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Every year, the fair comes to town. We've only been here for a few summers, and it's amazing how different each summer has been. And specifically, how I remember this particular fair.


Three summers ago, I didn't even go to the fair. I had just found out I was pregnant, and each day felt like I was barely trying to keep my head above water. While my daily joys typically revolve around playing with my kids or seeing them get excited about something new or even a really delicious ice cream sandwich, during that time, I had a really, really, really, really, hard time finding much joy in anything. I felt so tired-- as if my own blood cells couldn't muster up the energy to do much more than just survive. The day of the fair three years ago was dark for me, and I really can't tell you much more than I went to bed around five in the afternoon, and didn't wake up until the kids had already been asleep for a couple of hours. I remember asking Chris how the kids liked the fair. But, even my questions felt half-hearted. I couldn't understand why I didn't even feel like being around my own kids. Having suffered with depression during my second pregnancy, I knew what was happening, but it sure didn't make it any easier.


Last summer, we went as a family of five. Chris and I were officially outnumbered. We brought baby Oscar with us, and we were still trying to find our footing with three kids. And I remember the big kids saying, "Mom! I'm so glad you came this time!" They couldn't wait to show me every ride from the year before.


Fast forward three summers later. A genuinely happy mama, with two genuinely happy kids, and one baby back home sleeping. 


And one genuinely happy dad who didn't have to ride the teacups :)


As we stopped at the top of the ferris wheel, Sof hung on to me so tightly. Every time it would go around, she would squeeze me around the same time because she knew what was coming next. She was anticipating the fear that she knew would come. As I sit here writing, I've realized that I know so well what that feels like. Sometimes, I wonder if we do have another baby, if that same darkness will come back. I don't know if I've ever really written or vocalized it before, but this is the truth: I am scared. I am scared of going to that really hard place. I know that I am one of the fortunate ones. One of the ones who experiences antepartum depression for a few months, and then it sort of seems to fade away by around the half-way mark of my pregnancy. But, as I've talked to other moms, I've learned that while each experience is unique, it is still very real. 

So, yeah. Just cracking a window open here to let you know that stuff scares me, too. And feeling so lucky to have such amazing people in my life who let me squeeze them tight when I'm going around that ride and are there with me when I need them most.

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