It has been ten Christmases. Almost ten New Years. You were born in January of 2001 and it is hard to imagine that it is almost 2011. I miss the boy I thought you were going to be. The handsome red head with broad shoulders and laughter. Someday you would break your mother’s heart as you grew up and grew away. I would pine for the soft baby I held in my arms, with eyes fixed on me like milky green-blue marbles and pink, perfect lips. You would grow older and wiser and leave me empty and alone.
But it has been ten Christmases. And almost ten New Years. And you are still a little boy, soft and tender. I have had to let go of the boy you were supposed to be – a heart throb and charmer and remain in love with the boy you are, frozen and still, a five year old trapped in all the makings of a ten year old.
I watch other children watch you in wonder and amusement, your body hopping and snapping like a muscle spasm in a giant’s thigh. I want to protect you and cover their eyes and tell them they don’t know the mighty heart that beats within the walls of your small chest -- a boy who, to know fault of his own, lost pieces of himself, as easily as gritty sand falls through fingers on an ordinary day at the beach. You were somebody one minute and somebody else another.
I loved you from the moment you were born, a twisting, wet seal pup on a scale with a flash of red hair and a determined holler. You were a piece of me, ordered up at a deli counter to be weighed and wrapped and snuggled in my arms, newspaper print leeching onto my fingers, tattooing your story forever on my palms.
If I could make you whole I would. I watch you struggle and cry and I stand helplessly – no parent should go through that. I wish a mother’s love could mend the cracks and repair the seams and keep you whole once more. I can’t help but feel that I have let you down, somewhere along the way and for that I will always feel the rugged braid of scar tissue that interrupts the smoothness of my heart.
But who is to say that it is all final, that you won’t rise like the stealthy Phoenix from gray ashes and shake off the blinding dust. That you might soar once more, your heart and soul scraping against the belly of the sun. It’s the least you deserve, little one, for the frightening and dark world that you have grown to know. Let this new year offer you more hope and opportunity to feel more akin to those who love you and live in this world. Let this new year welcome you home to the arms of those who never tire, waiting patiently for your return.
Sam Smiles Project
1 month ago