This concept has kept my words from ever hitting the page more than I'd like to admit, because I didn't want to add to the cacophony, to be seen as a virtual ambulance chaser. It's been probably a year or more now since I first read that, and maybe, maybe it's time to relax on that a little, when something hits me.
I just read about a mother who did the unspeakable. And I know there have been and there will be endless posts about why and how could she and so many sides will be taken.
I don't want any part of that.
All I see in my head is Kiedis.
And my heart stops because I can't imagine it. I know what it feels like to hold a child that age up so that he can see over a barrier or because he wants held. I know how it feels to have his limbs wrap around me and almost make it all the way around because he's gotten so big. I know what the weight of him in my arms feels like, the strain on my back because I never remember to lift with my legs when it's a kid I'm picking up.
And my mind goes black when it tries to imagine it.
I know the sound of his voice when I call his name and he calls mine. I know how the color of his eyes twinkles when he smiles and how green they get when he cries. I know how I always see his baby mouth when he pouts, and how different his hands feel in mine than his sister's.
Sunday, during my migraine, he knew I was sick. He opened the door to my bedroom as Kyle led me in, and I was crying. He, of his own volition, said Aww, don't be sad Mommy, its okay. Don't worry Mommy, you'll feel better.
And then he followed us into the room, and when Kyle left my boy told me it was time for blankets like I've told him a million times over before, and he tucked me in and kissed my cheek, then scampered off to find his dad.
He is five and three-quarters years old. He is smart and kind and observant and wild and imaginative and complex and analytical and stubborn and fun and an adventure. He is a person I'm getting to know as he gets to know himself, his own entity within the parameters of the skin and bones I made for him.
When I read of tragedy, the stories that break my heart are the ones where I immediately recognize that the victim's last moments were spent in fear, confusion, disbelief. This is true not only for people, but for animals as well. I had the soul-wrenching misfortune of hearing about the video of the black kitten on Facebook, which I did not watch because I know myself, but I saw a couple of stills and my heart crumbled because how scared it must have been, how terrified, it was so very young.
And I cried at my dining room table for a cat in Mexico.
And Tova saw and asked me what was wrong and I didn't tell her, I just said I was sad because sometimes the world is mean and I don't understand it because I will not be the one responsible for showing her such maliciousness in the world, no. I want to save their innocence for as long as possible against these things, because it, like so much other knowledge, is not something you can undo or take back.
Kyle yelled at me, a few weeks ago, that our children should not have to comfort me when I'm upset. That they do is a marker of my parenting lack -- that I cry enough that they know to come hug me and tell me to take deep breaths and tell me it'll all be okay.
I don't see how that makes me a bad parent, that I'm raising empathetic, compassionate children. That I see the mimicry of what I do when they are upset, the things I say and do to soothe their little souls when they are upset and confused and sad. They care about other people because they have been shown that other people care about them and that feelings matter and will be listened to and that someone is always there for them when they need them.
I fail to see how this makes me a bad parent.
It is an attribute, this giant, fragile heart of mine, that needs protecting more than might be obvious. Because other people's hurt is something I can feel within me; it is something that can steal my breath and stagger my steps and at some point, makes my mind go black because any more may break me in a way I couldn't come back from, not fully.
So if you ever wonder why I disappear for bouts of time, it's for that. Because my heart is heavy with the things I'm living and I cannot take on the things of the world without breaking.
Life becomes hard and holds things within it you never could have imagined, both in dreams and in nightmares. They say that how you behave under pressure and deal with life's difficulties reveal your true character, though that could just be a really passive aggressive way of judging people who walk a different path than you and know a life you'll never know. We all carry our burdens the best we know how, or the best we have been shown how. Many people lack the tools to hold their composure. Everyone fails at some point, just like everyone succeeds.
All I know is that in my mind, I can only see my boy's green eyes and mischievous smile, feel his little arms wrapped around me, and I can't wait until I see him at soccer practice tonight to hug him so tight and tell him how very much I love him.
I'm putting this into Heather of the EO's Just Write link up because well, I pretty much just word vomited here. That's what happens when you don't blog on the regular for months and then decide to blog every day for a month. Go check out the other people who have their words more cleanly and succinctly organized for you.