I wouldn't have thought that March would be the bleakest month of the year for me, but it definetely is. I'm no sun worshipper, but I long to be outside, in unbulky clothes, looking at grass, feeling the sun on my skin. I want to start running outside, which I'd actually managed to do twice, before the temps dropped back into the 30s and the snow returned. It was so depressing. You have no idea. (More depressing even than the realization that running 4+ miles on the wii translates to no more than 5 minutes sustained running in real time. My race is in early June--now I'm panicking--can I possibly be ready in time?) Snow is predicted again for tomorrow, with another storm is on the horizon for Thursday--which could mean more accumulation--and an end to the grass that was starting to re-emerge. After the winter we've had, it's enough to make me want to scream.
Being cooped up inside with the boys is also scream-worthy. John has recently started emitting these random high-pitched, ear-drum-piercing shrieks--for fun. And we're all at our limit for keeping our cabin fever contained. I have to tell the boys ninety-five thousand times a day to stop climbing up on/jumping on the furniture/throwing toys/screaming/hitting each other. I know they feel a million times more bored than I do. Tom and I are going to bite the bullet and buy them a cedar playset for the backyard, because they need to swing and climb and hang and jump and slide, and not on my nice leather furniture. Except, there's still a substantial pile of snow in the backyard and we can't build anything until it's gone. I'm not used to having to accomodate the weather into my plans--we could've built a swingset in the backyard at any point in the year in the Carolinas--and I do not handle stagnation well. It makes me sulky and short-tempered.
I also want a garden more than anything, but obviously can't do anything about that right now either. I'm also dealing with where to put the garden in the first place. The most ideal gardening spot in the yard will soon be shaded by the soon-to-be-installed play structure.
The only thing that does seem to be going well is our new post-Sammy life. I wasn't sure how life would be without him in the house, but I think his moods were affecting everyone here--especially Tuendi. She's like a new dog. She used to spend her days upstairs in our bedroom, hanging out with the cats. She'd done it for so many years that we just assumed the boys stressed her out and she was hiding from them. But since becoming an only-dog, she's downstairs hanging out with us almost all day now. She's become much more social in general, and doesn't seem to be upset by the boys' noise and activity at all. And while Sammy was still around, she "couldn't" jump onto the furniture on her own--and always begged to be picked up. But suddenly she can hop up onto things by herself--no problem. Maybe we were extraordinarily unobservant, but we never really factored in how her issues might be related to Sammy's aggression, too.
It's a relief to know that I made a good decision, even though I'll probably never feel good about making it.
I dreamed about Sammy the other morning, right before I woke up. I was laying on my stomach in the bed with my arms out like Superman. He was between them, resting his head on my shoulder. My nose was buried in his fur and I was scratching his back softly. We were both content to be together. But there was also a mutual feeling of sadness/resignation/apology in the moment. I feel like a bomb has just gone off in my heart--never having thought I would ever put a pet down in a situation like this--where I was so full of doubt and sadness about the decision. Outwardly, life has gone on, and things are saner and better, but there's a little burned spot in my heart where a little patch of sunshine used to live.
Here's a poem I wrote about Sammy. (It was published in South Carolina's Pettigru Review).
A small square of light
In a dark room.
He sits neatly tucked,
All four paws inside.
His tail marks the boundary
Between light and shade.