I don't miss my son. There. I've said it. I've said those awful words out loud. My son has been gone for a week, safe with family in Canada, happy and full of life and joy. I cried when I dropped them off at the airport, watching him easily break free from me, turn, and run happily into the garishly lit airport terminal. So excited, so quick to not need me,
Need me. For five years he has needed me, clung to me, lived off of my love my nourishment my attention my breathe my energy my soul my heart my dreams my life. My universe shrunk to include me and him, me large and warm in the middle and him growing growing growing as he orbited around me.
Need me. He always needs me. Mommy! Mommy! Day and night and night and night. Never a full night of sleep. Dreams interrupted, afraid to go deep deep deep, instead hovering in the purgatory between sleep and awake, always afraid to fully leave, to fully turn off the ears the eyes the mind. Mommy! I need you! I need you!
Need me. Thoughts broken, thoughts never complete. An idea here, moment there, a brief beautiful poem unfolding in the mind, shattered by that need. My mind, always a place of reprieve and oddities and gardens of words became uncertain and starved, no privacy, no escape. My son the volcano, the ash cloud growing and growing and blocking out the light, my thoughts left to slowly die, my garden withering. No sleep, no time, no silence.
Need me, need me. The first year the need so intense, the need so real. Without me he would die. I fed, cleaned, touched, examined, worried, held my breathe is he ok is he ok will he be ok if I just close my eyes for a moment, a minute. . .an hour? Need.
Need me. The Mother is all. Older now, the immediate need is less. We sleep, entangled arms and legs and warm little boy breathe. I sleep sleep sleep, sleep for as long as I can, never enough. He goes to school, goes to other homes, he goes without me. The need still there. The Mother is All. The planning, the worrying, the appointments and new shoes and vegetables. The phantom pain - gone but still there. Need.
Then. . .gone. A week. 2,000 miles away. The Need lessens, lessens as the airplane takes him further and further away. I cry, the Need ripped away, suddenly, completely. . .the flesh under the Need red and raw and new. What am I without the Need?
Me. Me me me. Woman, fighter, creative soul. Goddess happy music and love. People people people freedom. Nights out long and hectic. So free. The flesh heals, the soul remembers. Night air, solitude on an ocean rock, bars loud and smokey. Music laughter intoxication. The sun with no planets, burning only for herself, no one to warm no one to nourish. Burn.
Me. I still exist under it all, under the Need, beyond the Mother. Ashes still smoldering so hot hot hot ready to erupt back into flames with a single breathe.
He comes back today, all arms and legs and sticky fingers. Love and joy and light and little boy smell. Mommy mommy! I am ready, renewed, revived, the fire died down but still warm warm warm. Woman, fighter, lover, writer, goddess, dreamer. . .Mother.