At night, after the day has long been put to rest, I hold you close to me. You demand me at night time. I often feel frustrated and resentment because you cling to me so tightly I can barely find my breath.
Disproportional anxiety over life’s tiny (to me) details drives me crazy during the daylight hours.
I want to scream:
“I am here. I am not going anywhere. I would do anything for you. I am your mom. I am here. I am not going anywhere. Feel safe. Feel secure. I am your mom. I am not going anywhere.”
At night, as we lay side by side, I wrap my arm around you and snuggle closer. I smell your hair consumed by a summertime spent outdoors. I listen to your breath gently move through your body. I feel your chest up and down up and down.
Your body is warm to the touch but I get closer to you.
I can never seem to get close enough.
In my arms, your body seems fragile, delicate, and vulnerable. I suddenly find myself feeling protective. So, I hold you tighter and I whisper “I love you so much. I would do anything for you. Please hear me.”
You see, at night, after the sun sets, I have already forgotten about the challenges from earlier in the day. I have forgotten about the broken bits and pieces of our home resulting from anger and violence. I have forgotten about the verbal outbursts and taunting dished out during your most challenging moments when your behavior deviates far from the core of your kind, nurturing, devoted, and loyal character. Those moments evoke unrecognizable behavior & embody emotion your tiny body and developing brain cannot possibly process.
So, you explode.
But at this moment, at night, in the dark, holding you, none of that matters. We are connected as we should be as a mom and a son struggling to make sense of the world.
Both of us.
At this moment, in bed, listening to a story, hearing the crickets, feeling the warmth of your body, you are my kind boy, you are safe, and I know that you will be okay.
These moments are the ones I choose to hold close to my heart day after day after day after day long into the future…