Some days I feel like I’m the Emperor with new clothes.

I have been given two sets and I must choose the one that fits me best. Both feel heavy and unwieldy. One, so clearly what I use to wear, before Ryan’s disappearance, and a completely new outfit. Both undeniably foreign to me.

Do I stand before you in in the everyday? Just like you as you move through the events of your life? Structured and sturdy with momentary sparks of magnificence and beauty?

Or do I find myself with nothing on, bereft of comforting material and warmth? Raw and naked?

Wary of my appearance, I look to others for advice. With an encouraging smile, they patiently say, “No my dear, you look beautiful”

“I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.” ~Sylvia Plath

I don’t know how to describe normal anymore.

That’s okay, you say. You are entering into a new stage of what that looks like. Whatever you create is what will be.

And yet I struggle so.

Because there is a beginning.

But for now, there is no ending.

How can you create a sense of normalcy in the place we find ourselves in?

How can I participate and find pleasure in the everyday moments? To relish and love the people surrounding me yet remember and honor my son? A tenuous balancing act at best. One I am constantly working on.

So I worry that each time I stand before the mirror, looking at these clothes that sorrow and grief will win out.

But they haven’t yet.

I suppose it won’t come as a surprise that the image I see so clearly is two beautiful girls, who urge me to wear what feels most comfortable for now.

And a handsome boy that looks on smiling with pride no matter my choice.

My new normal.

That will have to do.