I feel awkward around relationships. I fumble around in them and hold them as I would a cumbersome cardboard box — not quite steady, but steady enough to make it into the house. I rarely trust other people, but for some reason people trust me, which is a lovely thing. I am the poster-child of Complicated. Very, very complicated. Except, that is, in one area.
I write more about my children during Reverb than possibly any other time of the year. This does not mean I only think of them at the end of the year, quite the contrary. They are with me during every heartbeat, with every footstep, and every thought I make throughout my day. I have a different place where I write about them more often. I write about children more during Reverb because this is my reflection time — the time when I think about the past year and what I want to bring with me into the next.
There is no other relationship that means more to me than the one I have with my children, my boy and my girl. I have worked especially hard in 2012 to strengthen my ties with my son even more in this past year. As he turns 12 this month, I know he will begin facing situations where it will be tempting to make decisions that are contrary to what we have taught him. It has been pressing and urgent for me to continue to create an environment for him where he knows that he can always feel that his mother is his safe harbor. That his home is his safety net. As my son grows from child to young man, and beyond, I want him to be able to close his eyes and remember his mother.
When my son was born, he and I were the only patients in the hospital. I love to tell this story even when he pretends to be tired of it. It is a smaller community hospital, and although I had complications, we both made it through safely. We stayed in the hospital through the week of Christmas and the nurses brought him to me on Christmas morning swaddled up and placed in a stocking. He was, and is, so very precious to me — the most cherished Christmas gift I have ever received. I loved nothing more than to unwrap him and hold him against me, his sleeping head nuzzled against my neck. We would sleep like that, snuggled together, in the hospital. His little body curled up against mine, and my arms holding him close to me. We were the only ones there. Literally. Everyone else rotated around our tiny system.
And that is how it is still today. My boy and I. He doesn’t let me cuddle him anymore, though sometimes he will still watch t.v with me in my room. Or he’ll let me hug him. He blows me a kiss every morning right before he walks into school and is free with his “I love yous”. I loved teaching, but I hated not being home with him more. I have cherished and loved every moment I have had now that I can be home for both him and his sister. And he has loved me being here. Even when I clean his room.
I fumble through relationships and get them wrong sometimes. But they don’t really matter too much to me, in the end, because I know I can make them right. For my boy, and his sister, I feel strongly like this is my one chance, my one shot! to get it right and I will not sacrifice anything to succeed. I do not expect perfection from myself or my children. All I want is for them to always know I love them.