Sunday, June 24, 2012
Happily Never After.
I know when it happened. I know when I became a cynical, sarcastic shut in. It's when reality came knocking. I used to be this mother who preplanned meals, and craft activities, everything I had inside of me was given freely to them, and I was ecstatic to do it, I found meaning and purpose in it. I was the mom to beat all moms.
Then one morning I woke up to my baby and I reached over to touch his chest, a morning ritual to ensure that he had made it through the night. My hand rose and fell with each breath and I finally allowed myself to open my eyes. I looked over at his sleeping form. And then I cried.
I shook soundlessly inside my covers, tears running down my cheeks, snot pouring from my nose - and that bitter silence that punctuated my life mocked me and everything I thought I was. He never cried, you see. He was too weak to cry. He was awake for only an hour or two a day and every time I looked at him I stared death in the face. My own fucking mortality, and theirs - oh my fucking god - theirs...
I never retreated from loving Preston when he was touching death - when his beating heart kept my own on life support - but now that he is so imbued in life I find myself...different. I'm more cautious and slow. More detached and less involved. I want to be the mother I was before but I can't find her. She's lost; somehow always wandering in that place - that awful place when I realized that even the best of parents can lose so much.
I got up silently that morning and stood underneath the scalding heat of my shower. I rested my head against the cool of the shower wall and I promised I would never take them for granted.
In this I have not succeeded - quite the opposite really.
Because although I am acutely aware of their fragility now, and the insane tick, tick, ticking of time as it slips through my fingers...I just can't. I can't commit like I promised. I can't give myself wholly to them anymore and I ache from this knowledge - in truth I feel like I am failing them. I was given a gift in the understanding that nothing lasts forever...but I have curled up tight and have ignored the knowledge like a stubborn and insolent child might.
Honestly, some days I feel like I just can't do this. I can't love them as much as I do and still breathe. I want boring and mundane, routine and schedules... I want ignorance or at the very least the courage...
to love them like I should.