The more I love Rocco, the guiltier I feel. Surely the more love I feel for him means there was still space in my heart for more love to go in. Why was there still space? Aren't you supposed to just automatically, immediately love your child at birth? Until your heart almost bursts with the weight of the big heavy love?
I'm *great* at guilt. I used to sit in church as a child every Sunday, staring at the bloodied hands of Jesus. It was all my fault he got crucified, don't you know. These days I don't need church - I can totally crucify myself really, really well. Tori Amos sang "Got enough guilt to start ... my own religion."
(I have enough guilt to start my own Holy War. My own Gaza strip. Massive cult. Occasionally, I let Dave peek into my head, tell him EXACTLY what's going on in there among all the apple cores and broken synapses ..... the neurons littered with dead-ends. He can't believe it. "Do you seriously think like that hon?? Bloody hell .... (slow whistle) .... poor Eddie. Glad I'm not you.")
So. My son Rocco - no longer a baby. He is developing his own hilarious, eccentric, divine sense of humour. Oh I love him til it aches. He's on the cusp of toddlerhood. He puts on funny hats and dances around and loves making us laugh. His laughing makes me laugh. I see snatches of his personality shining through. Maybe they have always shone through, maybe I haven't really been paying much attention these past two years. Ack. Owie.
I was looking into his amazing eyes yesterday as I played with him - really played. I think he's been there all along. I think I've been a bit preoccupied ... a bit of an arsehole mother (GASP).
And I'm really, truly sorry for that. All I can do is to use the pain over my emotionally neglectful-parenting and use it to propel me towards a more available, better mother. Or something. I'll probably have this whole parenting gig all nicely figured out by the time he's twenty. Max will be 26. Tim will be 35. I'll get down on my 55 year old knees and beg them all for forgiveness - they'll roll their eyes and tell me to shut up, the footy's on.
The other day, I hired out Monsters Inc for Rocco to watch. It was Max's all-time favourite movie when he was two, and I was interested to see if Rocco would like it.
HE LOVES IT. It was beautiful to watch - like handing down a baton from one brother to another.
And I still remember every single piece of dialogue - even the outtakes at the end. I told Max I bet he'll love watching it - he didn't think so but in the end he sat entranced, wanting to watch it again. Tim came home last night while it was on .... the three of them sat there, laughing as Boo banged Randall with the baseball bat and he turned all different colours.
Remember the song at the end - the one that Billy Crystal and John Goodman sang at the Oscars that year?
"Sometimes I get a little blue ... but I wouldn't have nothin if I didn't have you."
I wouldn't. I wouldn't have nothin. I'd just be this broken woman with a wonky brain and a guilt complex big enough to kill me.
OR, I could have overcome all my demons on my own, with no children or strong husband involved. Could have. Maybe.
PS YEAH RIGHT HAHAHAHAHHAHA
PPS If I really get down on my 55 year old knees I'd definitely need a cushion. The strange thing about living in this world and overcoming said demons ..... you start to age. I never expected that.