After all my anxiety over the last few days drum lessons this morning were remarkably uneventful. Nothing happened. Well nothing but a lot of noise – because nobody was playing very well. I don’t think either Emily or Hamish had thought anything would go smoothly today either and had also been wound up all week and not focused on their practice. They certainly weren’t focused on their work today.
You have to hand it to Joel. He has us over the barrel. One false move and he forbids me from seeing Hamish unless he or Karen are there to make sure that God isn’t mentioned – not that I don’t stick to his ridiculous rules and look for ways to encourage the other contacts in his life already – but while I can see Hamish, I can teach him a lot by example. He has shown me that over the past few weeks. It’s now even more than giving up the contact with the nephew I love. I don’t want to let go of the opportunity to witness to him in whatever ways I can. And Joel knows it. He thinks he has the ultimate power over me and that I will do whatever he wants now, just because he has seen this new way to use his son against me. Lord, may I always trust you to care for Hamish more than myself. May I always turn to you before I turn to Joel. May there never be a time when he is tempted to ask it of me.
For the moment, Hamish and I spent the first ten minutes of the lesson just staring at each other as though neither of us could believe he was allowed to come. Karen had that same sense of impermanence about her when she collected him and I told her that I’d see her next week.
Lunch with Megan was a relief after banging bongos and deafening drums with ten-year olds … no matter how beloved said ten-year olds are. It was a relief to share with someone about Joel and his exhausting need for power over everything. It’s not something you can talk about with everyone – certainly not with people who know the family, and not people who are inclined to interpret it as gossip or draw you into gossip rather than just the quality that presses upon you. But Megan is someone I really feel that is able to be trusted with stuff like that. Joel is kind of overwhelming in a lot of ways. He sets out to be. He wants to be overpowering to a certain extent. He’s kind of funny placed next to Paul who takes things as he finds them, looks for ways to build people up and wrestles with life and engages with people.
It turns out that I needn’t have worried about how to raise Emily’s revelation to Megan. She started to talk to me almost immediately about how worried she was about Jonah and how withdrawn he’s been getting. She was horrified when I told her what Emily had said. She and Carlos will have to work out what to tell him and what not to, but I have an idea that Jonah will know that his Mum is going to be sick for a while, but she is not dying. Megan is worrying at present about when the right time to tell him that they’re expecting will be, given that he’s ten and picking up on things that people say. She’s worried about what would happen if he worked it out and then worried about another dead baby without them knowing.
Lord, I am very glad some days not to have to make such decisions. But then, there are days when I would envy Megan her husband and son. Father, please give Megan and Carlos wisdom as they decide what to say to Jonah. May his burdened heart be given rest.
I wonder if Gina has opened her Bible.