The Light in My Darkness is You
Beautiful baby you, where do you go in those brief moments between mouth and plate? One moment receiving food, willingly, hungrily, a nano gift of normality.
As I turn another spoonful to acquire
You are gone
Gone to that nether land within yourself. Somewhere. Nowhere. Who can know?
You are not here. But where is there?
I wipe your face. Gently, no intrusion into your absence, a butterfly kiss upon your beautiful lost self. I remove the toys from the high chair tray, all potential missiles in the Now yet to come.
I want so much to take you into my arms, to hold you, to call you back.
It will only make what is to come, worse. I may harm you with my love.
I ensure the harness on your high chair is not too tight, yet tight enough to protect you. I turn on the music, your music, the music that has soothed you so many times before. Will it again? I talk to you, quietly, lovingly, willing you to return to this Now, to me, gently, as one re-enters a room. It happens, sometimes.
More likely, that volcano of uncontrolled and unexplained energy from within will erupt upon us all, tearing you from your other world trance. Plunging you into a violent re-entry through spasms. Thrashing and jerking you like a rag doll, as though it would tear your very soul from your body.
It has begun, no quiet transition this, I watch with the eternal agony of long experience and the faint hope that as previously, this will be but a brief moment in the many, and you will survive. Finally, terrifyingly, you are quiet. Stilled with exhaustion, spent with tears, groans, and those fearful screams. I raise you from your chair and take you to myself. All rigidity and resistance gone, you are limp in my arms, but your head is upon my shoulder, some small connection to comfort and warmth, an innate moment of oneness when child and mother are one, cherished yet horrifying that it must be born of all that has come before.
You will sleep now, possibly for many hours. Your sleep has all the appearance of one who slumbers in the peace and contentment at the end of a happy day.
It is an illusion, you sleep, but you are not there, here, not yet.
Eventually, I will hear that sigh, that change in breathing that will tell me all is well. The transition from pseudo coma to sleep has occurred. You are safe.
You will sleep.
I will sleep.
Tomorrow may be a better day, or this day may have been the better of the two. I do not know. I cannot prepare for it. I cannot change it. I can only take one day at a time, one day, this day, each precious day. Each day of thankfulness that no matter what the challenge, you are alive. It is enough.
I cannot ask you what you want to be when you grow up. I cannot ask myself if I can do this day, day after day, for the rest of your life. That is too big a question, the enormity is incomprehensible. Unanswerable save to say I Will that I will.
I ask the Universe for the strength, and faith I need, We need, for this day and every other “this day” that I am granted the privilege of being your mother, and of you being my teacher, my light, my life.
You cannot hear it, know it, understand it, but I must say it still, that the Universe and I may hear and know it to be true .
I LOVE YOU.