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When I think of him, I feel him in my stomach. I feel his feet pushing up under my ribs, making it hard to breathe. I sense his desire to be out in the world, learning and growing. I feel his impatience in the pain of contractions.

I see him there in front of me, sailor hat on at a tilt, smile plastered on his cake smeared face. His Highchair dwarfing him as he eats peanut butter and bananas. I experience again the panic of the first seizure and the second and the last, the looks of the social worker giving me the impression they blame me for his childhood illness. I recall the time he put a key in a plug socket electrocuting him and instead of consoling him, I yelled, yelled loud in my panic that my little boy might have died.

There he is, in my mind’s eye, holding the pumpkin basket dressed up like a banana, or holding a balloon dressed up like batman. His little tear away pants, matching mine, hand held tight while he explains to me where the bus is going. My smile slowly rises as he holds his great great grandmas hand and helps her cross the street because he is a “big boy mama”. He’s picking up his “sisser” and bringing her “because she was crying mama…”…. In her crib, laying beside her, hand on her chest, taking care of her because he’s a big brother now.

Today I want to yell. i want to scream at him, that he doesn’t understand that OF COURSE I would worry, who wouldn’t? I want to shake some sense into him and beg him to stop on the path he has chosen for himself. I want to hug him close and tell him how afraid I am that my little boy is still in danger of dying and I feel as helpless today as I did 16 years ago.

I want him to hear me, to understand, to know that my panic is not uncalled for, not unwarranted, I am his mother….