This is a guest post from The Babe. I met her online through Fadra, who I met at BlogHer in New York last year. One day this year I am going to get my hair cut exactly like The Babe, and she can't stop me because we live too far apart.
My dear, sweet boy:
You sleep like the dead and stink of preteen pheromones. Seriously it takes a herd of water buffalo charging through your room to wake you at one in the morning. Water buffalo… or just me spooning you and hugging you so tightly that a passerby might think I was trying to cram you back into my rib cage where you loved to stick your feet in the third trimester. Maybe it was the hugs, or maybe it was the thick, plopping tears on the side of your head while I tried to imagine all the things I would need to tell someone to take care of you if I died… either way, I woke you.
See, I stayed up until one in the morning exchanging emails with your Aunt about how to raise you and your sister if I died. How do I do that in an email? How do I tell her that you need an endless stock of art supplies? Which can mean anything from scotch tape and the straws in the cupboard to a full paint set or a camera to record the world as you see it… just anything your artistic whims might need. Lots of that.
How can I remember to tell her that your baby sister likes spicier food than you, but it makes you feel slightly emasculated when someone points it out? And I forgot to tell her that if your socks don’t match then you won’t be able to concentrate all day. Shit, I forgot to tell her that.
I did tell her that you’re deeply stubborn and an excellent liar who only cracks under relentless, consistent interrogation. I told her that you have a heart the size of Texas; that you are shamelessly sensitive and thoroughly devious, like a friendly neighborhood serial killer who cares. Like Dexter. You’ll probably outgrow this, but for now I feel like your personal probation officer just waiting to throw you back in the penitentiary.
Only, you’re funny. You’re so hilarious. In the history of the world, there’s never been anyone who loves a good joke as much as you do. Shit, I forgot to tell her how much you love jokes.
So yeah, the water buffalo got the night off, because after trying to imagine everything I would need to pack into the in-case-I-die email to your aunt, all I wanted to do was hold you and never let go. I squeezed too tightly and it was just enough to make you whimper and squirm a little. You pulled your lanky arms out from underneath my hug and flopped over onto your belly, grunting.
I’m sorry I squeezed you so tightly, but setting up life insurance and guardianships and in-case-I-die emails got the best of me. It got me in that space right in the center of me which aches on your birthdays and goes all mushy when you tell me you love me. I know you need your growing rest and I woke you in the middle of the night and maybe it was selfish to need to cuddle you at one in the morning, but I needed you to know why.
I needed you to know that it’s because I hope that you will forgive me for my mistakes and always know that I love you more than breathing. I would donate my legs to science if it meant that I could be guaranteed to see how your life turns out and meet the man you will grow into. And there is nothing in the world that I wouldn’t give up to keep you from ever feeling brokenhearted, or to keep you from having to learn the hard lessons that I did.
I am not the perfect mother that I wish I could be, that I know you deserve, but I turn myself inside out to do the best I can. I love you to the moon and back, bigger than the whole wide world and I’m sorry that I woke you up in the middle of the night to tell you. Promise me that you won’t forget.
I chase two kids, two cats, two guinea pigs and four chickens around all day. I cook anything that sits still long enough, plant things in the dirt all spring and summer and write whenever I can steal away a moment at the keyboard. I'm an American living in the UK since 2008 when I married my English husband, and I find short bios almost impossible to write. I have a personal blog (with moxy) at Stay At Home Babe and can be found on Twitter and Facebook as well.
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