I watch you breathe, your chest rising and falling in perfect rhythym. Your cupie doll mouth slightly open as your sweet breath escapes and fills my air. I love observing your sleep when my own eludes me. I prop up on my elbow and allow the music of your candied breaths to bring the closest sensation of joy that is possible for me right now. Head to toe, you are a symphony, you are a carnival of laughter, you are a rare gemstone dug from a difficult quarry with my bare hands.
When I danced with your daddy on our wedding day, you were snug in my belly. All that day, I felt your quickening, tiny flutters like the flapping of a bumble bee's wings. During our dance, you kicked me hard. Our song played. I want to touch the earth. I want to break it in my hands. I want to grow something wild and unruly. I didn't know then what I know now. You are that something. My wild and unruly creature, nurtured in a garden of mischief and creative endeavors. Every word you say, even the angry ones, make me swell with pride. Even the bad words. Especially the bad words. Your art, which bleeds of rainbows and ghosts and sunny skies over skeletons playing soccer in an apple orchard, makes my eyes fill with proud mommy tears.
I don't know where this road is leading. I don't know if you will love me or hate me when you're grown. I'm not the mother you asked for when you came out into the world red-faced and screaming from my cut womb. I'm just the mother you got. And I've come to this party empty-handed. I have nothing to give you because I'm a black hole. There is a chasm so deep inside of me, it's bottomless and scary and full of dread. Sometimes the emptiness overwhelms me so I can't even smile or laugh. And then I remember the quickening, the way it felt to have you doing your acrobatics inside of me, filling up all those empty, gaping spaces that occupy my soul. You are this miracle and for 10 months you made me a miracle, too. We were miracles together, you and I.
God, I fucking love you. From the hair follicles on the top of your noggin, to the dry skin on the soles of your stinky feet. I love your boogie nose and your sweet, chubby legs. I love your hands that are always dirty. I love the crusties in your eyes. I love that you stand next to the potty so proud of your accomplishment. "Mom! Look what I did!" I love that you're not afraid to tell me that you're angry. I love that you know what songs you like on the radio, and what songs you hate. I love that you laugh at your own jokes. I love you so much that it's not even love anymore. The feeling I have about you more closely resembles pain. The heart that beats in your chest is my heart. It terrifies me to think that one day soon you will go places I can not go, that you will be out of my reach in so many moments of time. Some days I wish I could put you back into my womb, keep you safe and sound. I would do anything to feel that quickening always - tap, swoosh, tap - to know you are okay.
And now I want to curl up next to you. I want to feel your precious, perfect miracle of a body next to me. I want to soothe away bad dreams. I want to hear your sleep talk. I want to synchronize our breaths and heartbeats while I still can.
2 hours ago