My dear sweet, beautiful sons,
This weekend, you watched as my heart shattered. After weeks of worry– of ups and downs, of questioning myself, of waiting for things that were out of my control–I fell apart.
Children aren’t supposed to see that, are they? Parents are supposed to leave the room for their disintegrations. But you three watch me like hawks, as if I am the most interesting and important creature you’ve ever encountered, and I don’t think there is anything I’ve ever done or felt that went unnoticed. To assure you that I am OK when I’m not is to teach you that your instincts are wrong, and your instincts are rarely wrong. I learned a long time ago that attempting to slink off to lick my wounds privately only makes you three nervous, and it’s best to be honest when I am struggling. What you imagine is always worse than the reality.
And so you’ve been aware of my recent worries, and your patience and quiet concern have helped me stay calm and guardedly optimistic.
But suddenly it all became too much, and as I took one blow too many you watched at I crumbled. You gathered around me, encircling me with your skinny boy arms, shushing me as I sobbed, kissing me on my head as the first real hope I’ve felt in years drained away like the last light of the day; as old scar tissue was carelessly ripped apart, yet again.
You three didn’t even flinch. In one moment, you morphed from trash-talking, wrestling, nut-punching hooligans into pure goodness. Your compassion, your empathetic tears, your calm self-assurance as you shuffled me up to my bed and told me to lie down for an hour until I felt better, your protectiveness of me over the past few days …. it humbles me. How do an 11, a 14, a 19 year-old know how to care and love this way?
You are such kind people, and that kindness and those skinny arms have lifted a bit of the heaviness from my heart–just enough that I can take a deep breath and steady myself.
You are my heroes, and it is an honor to be your mother.
Thank you for loving me so much,