|Alexander, on his 1st birthday|
I had dressed him in his first grown up clothes that day: a navy blue polo shirt and pleated, pressed khaki pants. He looked just like his dad, and his dad was beaming. I was beaming at finally having my baby, at 36 years old.
Looking at my three boys' baby pictures kills me, anyway--I don't know why I do it---torture myself that way, but, I do. Anyway, today...this picture is killing me.
Since the first second I became their mother, I was transformed into their very own "Ripley." I was untouchable, unbeatable and nothing stood in my way when protecting my children.
It became what I lived for, without question, and I rose up to meet my role. When they cried at night, I'd swoop down and lift them and felt as if I were rescuing them from some lonely tower.
They were soothed by only me.
Life continues on this way, with days that trick you into thinking they will never end. You will always be Ripley, you think, armed and ready, to save them from everything.
Then, the day comes, out of nowhere...where the first live superaction heroine they've ever known, is powerless. The day where she can only sit and watch, and is not able to swoop in and pick them up out of their crying crib.
I watch, feeling a golfball in my throat, while my 15 year old firstborn apple of my eye, struggles with a life lesson.*
I can barely stand it.
The Umbilical Cord
Oh, Doctor, are you sure....
the day he was born and you cut the cord-
that cord that connects child to mother-
did you make it a clean cut? complete?
Because sometimes I wonder
when the sound of his cry would cause
the strange pain, prickly pins,
"letting down" the milk to meet his need.
And when, as he advanced to solids and fed with a spoon
my mouth popped open
with every attempt to spoon food into his;
my tongue licked the corners of my mouth
when the baby food spilled out on his face.
If the cord was cleanly cut, complete
why the sinking sick stomach in me
at the sight of his blood after a fall?
Why is my mouth dry
when he is the one on stage to say the lines?
Why are my palms sweating
when he is the pitcher on the mound?
*Why does my heart ache
when his is broken?
Doctor, could you check?
I think the cord is still intact.
PostScript: a HUGE thank you to Shell @Things I Can't Say, for writing the perfect post for me to find today. Thank you, Shell. I needed to read just the words you had for me at your site today. Thank you.