I expected to wake cranky this morning, and I suppose I am (my youngest didn’t get home until midnight & my mother is 18 years dead), but my first thought/feeling/sensation was santosha/satisfaction/sweetness–for a job well done.
This is my last mother’s day with a child at home.
I first felt the pang of the empty nest in the shower on the morning after my oldest was born.
A month later, I began writing about this messed up love story, and years later, after both boys were in school, I began this very blog in an effort to get a jump start on the sucky ending ahead.
But that was a mistake. If I were to start name this blog now, I’d call it something else.
The Spacious Nest.
Beyond the awakening is the fragility to which i am most attuned;
Because hasn’t spring brought both love & heartache, conception & loss, burials and re-births?
How do I explain what it is to see a parent outside the highschool, pacing back and forth on her cellphone. Or another, a father, walking briskly toward the building with cleats in his arms. Or my own cheek still charged with the bristle of my son’s as he kissed me goodbye and hopped out of the driver’s seat… the car emptied of his breakfast, his music, his overbearing book bag.
I remain still. Bound to the passenger side of this empty vehicle.
Waiting? Watching? What?
The speed of time?
How suddenly the landscape becomes lush?
No matter how inconvenienced we are. These children. These lives. Ready to fly. Are everything.
Even as we let them go. Little by little. And then all at once. Holding on to the simplest ways to say:
We were once.
I’m not sure if it’s #45 or #metoo or Menopause, but suddenly I have access to something I never had before and it’s something which I expend too easily like the first paycheck in my kid’s pocket.
“Don’t be a fucking idiot!”
A few weeks back, I spewed this at him.
(This, in a household, where I’ve long drawn a fierce line at: Shut up.)
Actually, a stream of sentences with fuck (highlighted in various forms) came out of my 54-year-old mouth, one after the other, none of which I could entirely recollect afterward–a sure sign of trance–but not one I’d so fully occupied before.
Not just at the behavior at hand, or the accumulated attitude of his adolescent years or that combined with his older brother’s (and even their father’s) but all the ways that all women/mothers/wives are maligned for the same things for which we are relied upon.
“I’m sorry that I put that all on you,” I said to my son when he returned from hitting the speed bag in the basement.
But what I didn’t regret was the line that I had drawn, and that I will now draw forevermore, and which I appreciate that he also drew for me:
“We don’t talk to each other that way, Mom.”
i pulled the socks from his feet and rubbed peppermint cream into his soles, while his father went in search of tylenol. and as i rubbed, i said to myself, whose feet are these? they’re so huge! even the toes! and i wondered, was I wrapped in his feverish delusions too? and later, when we brought him into our bed, and he tucked his shivering body against mine, and i wrapped my arms around him like i had when he was a boy, i was surprised to find a broad back and big boned shoulders, and i reached further still to be sure i wasn’t touching my husband; while my baby, at 16 & a half to the day, oblivious to his child-to-giant transformation, went on tossing and turning and sweating, between us, until we brought him to the shower, and his father, seeing his body, as if for the first time, said to me: how have we missed this?