This piece is in the very early stages but feel free to comment all the same. It’s one of the few pieces of my writing that is autobiographical.
Singing as if rocking a baby to sleep:
Don’t you fear
I am near
It’s about the story. Building the story. Building the life. Building the home.
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. We don’t always know where to place and mark each of the segments but they are there somewhere. This story started before I became a mother, maybe even before I became a person separate from my own mother. It’s not a story I’ve written alone certainly, parts of it were written for me by women who I’ll never meet. And men. It always somehow comes back to men.
When life first moved inside of me it was the deepest, lightest joy. It was some vibrant, tearing light reaching beyond my fingertips into this fragile world of ours. I loved my son before I knew his name, his face, his voice. I loved him because he was mine and I was his. I loved him because he needed me, he was my responsibility and I accepted that, I chose him and I welcomed him into the world despite all the reasons I might not have.
There are things men do to women that can’t be undone or forgotten and fears built into us by men and women both that echo these demons. My son came from a relationship that wasn’t love and wasn’t pure, it was toxic and rotten and broken. I was so deeply flawed and afraid of loving myself that I let my life fill with memories I wish I didn’t have. My son, my beautiful soft breathing child came from the wreck of a 4 year relationship between a child and a child that will never grow up. I’m someone else now though the ties will never leave, they’re written in law and blood but they mean almost nothing in the face of what it really means to love a child.
I didn’t love my son because he was related to me, his being related to me is what put me in the situation that caused me to love him but his being related to me in and of itself was not the road to love. The road to love was responsibility, choice. The choosing of life, the accepting of ‘I will take care of you. I will be yours and you will be mine and I will keep you safe from the darkness in the world as best I can’. And so it was and so it is.
He saved me, that tiny squashed pink and white bundle of skin and bone and sinew and breathing sighing screaming life. He saved me because I loved him enough to demand a better life. To stretch into my life with a greater courage than I thought I had because I had a promise to keep.
So what is the story for me? The building of a life, the building of a home?
I became a parent before I became an adult.
There was no time for pressure, for expectations, for a woman’s duty. I fell into this love, this choice quite accidentally.