Father in Chief and I went to see Dan in Real Life on Saturday night, staring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook. It is a comedy about family, about relationships, about brothers. Grown up brothers. Only instead of making me laugh, I sobbed quietly on FIC's shoulder during parts of the movie. And then I sobbed loudly during the walk from the theater to the car.
You see, I have two little boys. And in most families, those little boys will eventually grow up to be men. To be brothers. They might be close. They might not be close. But they'll have each other and the shared family history of growing up in the same house with the same parents. Only our family isn't like most families. One of my boys might not grow up to be with his brother. To joke around in the yard while tossing a football. To spend holidays together. To tease each other, as brothers do. And so watching that fake Hollywood family do those things caught me off guard. So FIC's shoulder got wet as I thought about what might not be. I thought about the grown men I might not have. And I ached for myself. I ached for my son. I ached for my other son, and all of the losses that go along with his health problems.
When I was driving back to my house after taking the sitter home, I decided a good solution to feeling so sad was to just run away from my problems. I wouldn't drive home. I would just leave and go have a different life. It seemed like a really, really good idea. I want the nice house on the lake in the middle of nowhere. I want to be able to live far, far away from top pediatric heart centers. I want to be able to vacation at high elevations and not think about whether there is enough oxygen. I want to fly on airplanes without oxygen tanks or the need to figure out how to keep the medicine cold. I want the perfect family with the perfect kids. And if I can't really run away, I want to believe in parallel universes because there has to be a better, happier version of my life out there somewhere. The life I'm supposed to have. The life that I planned. The life where no one is really sick or in the hospital or having surgery. I want the life where everyone grows up. I want the life where I have to boys--two brothers--as long as I'm alive. And then long afterwards.
But then I realized I want all of that with my family, my husband, my kids. So I drove home, checked on the boys, and snuggled up with FIC in our bed, in our house, which comes complete with all that other stuff.
So here I'll stay. I'll eject those thoughts from my head as best I can. And I'll enjoy the moments we have right now. The moments when Preschooler in Chief squats beneath Baby in Chief's highchair and tickles his toes over and over, as BIC does the sign for "more" after each tickle. The moments when PIC is hollering about BIC putting Matchbox cars in his mouth. The moments when the kids are being crazy at the restaurant and everyone is staring at us. I need to cling to those moments. I need to savor those moments because I don't know how many more moments we'll get.
I think it will be a long, long time before I consider going to see another comedy.