Thursday, May 24, 2012

Safe.


I lie next to him in bed. Our faces are so close I can feel his breath. Our noses are almost touching. His curls are tucked into his silky, gold, sleep cap. My left hand cups his right shoulder. It feels so very small. My eyes are closed but when I open them briefly I see deep into his dark eye. "What are you worried about?" I ask, seeing a great fear in that space. "Noffing," he says. "There is nothing to worry about," I assure him. "Ok Mamma," he says. We lie here together and I wonder to myself just how long it is going to take before he finally feels safe. Will it ever happen? Up until last December I would say things like, "Today we are going to eat pancakes, go to so and so's birthday, and then shop at..." He'd interrupt me to ask, "And then I get a new mommy?"

I think about what it must be like for him. He is three. This already seems to be a jacked up time developmentally for any kiddo. "I do it myself!" seems to be the mantra, whether they can or not. I feel he is in a big place of growth right now. He is his own person, with big beautiful ideas, and some nasty three year old behavior. He likes to spit. This drives me crazy. I want to throttle him when he spits. He pushes my buttons. Today I tried a new tactic to deal with these types of things. I tried, whenever he did something to piss me or anybody else off, to just shower him with complete love. "I love you Melese. I love you so much. We don't spit in this family. We don't throw food. Do you need extra hugs today? I think that you do." I hug him, and hug him again, and wonder how on earth this beautiful child will ever feel safe.

At preschool the other day I told him I needed to use the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom I found him sobbing. I hugged him and he whimpered into my shoulder. He thought that I had left without saying goodbye. "I was just in the bathroom," I said, "I just had to pee. I was coming right back."

What is it like to be three and to have had two moms, and to have two dads and to have family in different, far away places? Isn't life confusing enough? Isn't it enough for a three year old just to figure out why they can't have a fucking lollipop whenever they want? Isn't that enough worry? Why can't I have a fucking lollipop mommy?

But instead we have this. "Why did my mommy die mommy? How are we family if they are there mommy?" Really goddamn good questions Melese.

His eye is blinking. It is finally getting heavy with sleep. I know that I will have to move soon because he can't physically touch Meazi with me between them. The only way they both sleep soundly is if parts of their bodies are actually touching. If they are not they will thrash all night, searching for each other. I have been between them sleeping, and gotten a good elbow in the throat, a fast slap in the face, and a heel blow to the ribcage. I know now to find a new place in the bed so that these two can find each other again.

Why wouldn't they try to? It is all they know to be constant. It is all they know to be there, and to be here. The two of them together through the trauma of their past, the confusion of their present, and the vast unknown of their future.

I look at him one more time. His eyes are closed. I'm not sure if my eyes are watering from his hot breath on them, or from my great sadness of what I think it must feel like to be my beautiful son.

18 comments:

  1. Your post brought me to tears. You have such a way with words! May each day make your wee one feel more and more secure! Our kids have been through so much in their short little lives.


    Hugs

    Carolyn

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  2. Tissue.

    Will they always have that crack in the foundation? I ask every day.....

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  3. Our kids have been through so much. Sometimes I think it is too much.
    Heartbreaking.

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  4. Oh, mama, you brought me to tears, too. It is too much, but thankfully you get it, you keep that awareness with you in your parenting. What if he had a mama who didn't understand?

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  5. The connection those two share is incredible, beautiful.

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  6. And that is why you must never, ever, hang up this blog. Thank you.

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  7. I am guessing this wasn't a guest post by the freelancer?

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  8. not defunct. three is so much harder than two. and three for a kid who's had fear and confusion is even suckier. we are heading into three with all sorts of insecurity and fear. and it is exhausting. hugs.

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  9. I don't have the right words for the comment I want to make. I feel this post so deeply. My daughter wrapped my scarf around her neck and mine tonight, and she looked at me with eyes so serious and said, "I want to keep you." And I thought, "Oh, sweetheart, is there still so much doubt in your mind?" But of course there is. Even if I tell her a hundred times a day that I am hers forever and always, of course there is. Oof.

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  10. Oh how I've missed your writing so...the word church of julie.

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  11. It is so hard to get past that deep pain to somehow heal a heart. The good thing I hear is that he's articulating his questions - bringing them out into the open, at least. Surely that's a start?

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  12. Oh, Julie. This post is incredible. Heavy. And beautiful.

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  13. This one should have come with a tear-alert warning. Your writing is so poignant, so real, so beautiful.
    Just keep loving them deeply - that will help. Sounds like he is sharing his fears/grief with you, that's big stuff, that is healing.

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  14. We are still working through feelings of safety and security, too. Past the spitting, but last night I got "I want to kick you in the head" and tonight I got "I want to hit you in the face." My poor baby :( It is so very sad that a 3 year old would have to deal with so much anger and confusion.

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