I thought I was doing pretty well picking up the pieces and putting them together. We had a good summer. We played outside, took walks, went to the park, splashed in the pool.

Now it’s fall. It used to be my favorite season. I loved the crisp air, the distinct smell of decaying leaves and harvested grain and firewood burning, the brilliantly-blue sky, wearing sweaters but still being able to enjoy the outdoors.

But this fall, after feeling somewhat competent to manage everything for awhile, that confidence or competence or whatever it was (maybe it was a mirage) has melted away. You would think that with the kids in various schoolish activities and a more structured routine in place, all of us would be doing great.

It seems that I’ve underestimated the effect the upcoming anniversary of Elli’s death would have on me.

This week I actually stepped back and saw myself casting about for something, anything, to get my mind off “it.” The new activities for the kids, birthday party planning, politics, work, books, blogs, food, drink, exercise, sleep, music… what can I focus my head and my heart on so that I don’t derail? Or am I just running from something that I don’t want to face… but need to? Maybe it isn’t what I think it is?

Whatever the case, my distraction methods aren’t working. It feels like I’m headed off the tracks no matter what, even though it’s slow-motion and therefore gives the impression that somehow the course can be corrected. I don’t know what to do at this point. I have a family that I’m responsible for, and they are requiring more and more effort. Well, Little Boy is, anyway. He is non-stop trouble-searching all day long.

Somehow we all have to get through this. I just haven’t figured out how yet.