This is my one chance, I tell myself. I deserve the chance of being vulnerable, and of sharing. I suppose as a full-time solo parent I feel the task of recording/remembering, a daunting one. Do I share every detail with my friend, or my Mom, or who? With myself? So I take a chance on sharing. You can decide if you wish to be my audience or perhaps what is magic to me is of the mundane to you–this I am not sure. Nor do I judge. But it is certainly for you to decide. To read on? To stop? I am going to write about my child. You can be my witness. Perhaps for that, we will both record this memory. I love to freeze time. Couldn’t you tell? With each image I share. Tonight it is words, where you can’t just look away, you can only opt out of the experience. So I wonder…
Do my words fall on deaf ears tonight?”
The single Mother asked herself.
“Who do I share them with, if not myself?
Who else can revel in their beauty and intrigue?
Who can love you like I love you?
For the sake of the future, who can remember the moments?”
Or does it even matter…
I know not.
I just know that they deserve the effort of my concern
and any attempts I might make to preserve them
to tell the story to the best of my ability
and to remember.
With a camera I can freeze your face, but with your words, it is only my memory that can preserve them.
There is no other audience.
I am deftly aware of this.
Without my words, are these moments lost forever?
Did the tree really fall?
So I write.
Like a list.
Blizzard in Kansas.
Parts of I-70 closed
Mom home safe. (Tennessee to Chicago)
Maria stopped in Iowa–safe. (Tulsa to home)
Joanne’s fabrics–dog bandana’s, hippie chicks in line
Lunch in Boulder
Burger, great beer.
Lemonade–Queen Bee and thoughts of friends, lots of friends, inspiration
sleepy, tired, achy throated Oliver…sofa cuddles
With the conversations, I think of you. You are nine.
You lost yourself today.
Lost in the joy of vacation, of brotherhood, of boyhood.
Lost in giggles and play, in fun.
Then you showered.
I sat outside the curtain and went through the routine.
Shampoo–rinse,condition but don’t rinse yet, soap up body, clean in all the spots.
Get behind your ears.
Oh! And between your toes.
I leave to let you command this ship yourself,
you are but nine.
When I return I ask if you rinsed the conditioner out all the way?
We discuss your dry skin and the altitude, the cold is new again and you have to get back in the habit of lotion.
We comb your hair as you crack jokes.
You talk about your body, its shape and its oddities, I think about the care I need to use with my words around you.
Why do you know so much about the world?
Does it worry you?
You tell me about forgery.
Later I learn that you meant “plagiarism,” we have a good laugh and talk about how not to plagiarize.
You somewhat miss-interpret and your desire not to make that error is so sincere.
We discuss it some more, complete with examples, I feel like a good mom.
It’s making sense but something is amiss…
I remember how well I know you–not consciously–but with instinct I find the solution to guide you.
I watch the light bulb, I can see you want more light.
I feel like a lighthouse.
You want the safety of understanding, the clarity in your approach, you want to know.
We make plans to practice this new technique to avoid plagiarizing,
I giggle inwardly at your sincerity–you want to do it right.
The plans starting filling with goo, soft and delightful, and we have a plan.
You are excited and so am I.
Finally we wind down and I see you slip under the covers and get more comfortable.
At first we sat and giggled because I was being awkward.
We doubled over in laughter and when we finally calmed ourselves, one glance at each other and we were back in fits.
But now you are easing into the bed and any and all awkwardness is gone.
That little moment of awkwardness is a gift, the gift of your independence, but this easiness is a gift of our love and familiarity and it too, is golden.
We beat out our plans for tomorrow and discuss a hike in the hills, a few stolen moments for ourselves, our small family, you and me, and Sasha.
You feel worried about what to tell your friends who have to go to school, we talk about being discrete and lying and what the difference is.
Everything feels so black and white to you, and you are kind, so you care.
Then you light up and admit you are excited for it to be “just us.”
I think, sometimes you just need to be.
I also don’t want our conversation to end, this will give us more time to talk.
We will breath and stretch, and we will walk.
We will feel the oxygen move through our blood and the earth vibrate through our centers.
We will find light and life, and we will give back the electricity we bring.
We will thank the earth with our admiration and respect and we will be whole.
I wonder how I found you in this life and how this life knew I needed you.
To teach me to grow, by my unwillingness to fail you.
To teach me to live, by my unwillingness to miss out.
I want to freeze frame these conversations so they will exist in time, so they can be mine.
You are the light and the love. I am your light house, and you are mine.
I am your Mom, and you are nine.