Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the ties that bind us


The day you become a parent and you look into the eyes of your child for the first time, you know in an instant that your life has changed forever. You can feel your body make a shift to include this little being into your own. You know in that moment that no matter where he goes or how he grows, he will always be a part of you. You know that when he is in pain, you will be in pain. You know that when he smiles, your whole heart will smile with him. He is you and you are him. And at the same time you know he is his own person. You know that from that moment that he takes his first breath he is on his own and you are only there to watch and help the best you can. You know that he will feel the pain and joys of life and you will not always be there to break his fall. You know that there will be times when you will only be able to hold his hand through the storm and you hope that will be enough.
Yesterday I had the gut retching experience of thinking I lost my son. As I was giving the police a description of him and imagining the worst, I felt in that moment a part of me was dying. The air became so thick I literally could not get a breath and my belly, where I had carried him for 9 months, was in a knot, trying to hold on to him somewhere. You can never believe how strong these cords are until you have an experience of losing a child. In that moment, I was feeling the pain of all the mothers who lose a child and I wondered how the world could ever turn again. As everyone was running around, I stopped myself for a moment and got really calm and just asked "tell me where they are". I think my Grandmother was watching over me. My feet started to move slowly and as I walked, I suddenly saw them. They were hiding all the way down the street in a bramble bush. John and everyone had already check there, but they had hidden and stayed quiet. When I found them they had sheepish grins on their faces and I think were a bit confused as to why I was crying and the street was full of police.

After that we came home for some needed quiet time. The whole incident made us feel so vulnerable. The thought of losing our son was unimaginable. We are strong believers in letting kids be kids and letting them run free but we immediately felt ourselves pull the ropes in and want to hold on tight and NEVER let go. We never wanted to let him outside again. We never wanted him to make US feel that way again. That was too much pain and we knew that if the outcome had been different we would have been changed forever.

But we know that when we chose to become his parents, we promised to not just care for his physical needs, but also his emotional and spiritual needs. We knew that it would not always be easy. The more he grows into his own body, the more we have to trust that he is on his own journey and we are merely his safe place to come back to. We are here to try and keep him safe, but we have to also accept that he will get hurt. I am not sure I feel truly up for the task, but here I am. I guess I am doing it. My love runs so deep that I feel it just might strangle him and yet I know I must let him run free. To find himself in this world without fear prevailing. Though I think for the next couple of days I need to keep him close to me before he goes back out into his world, playing in the trees and swinging free.

4 comments:

MemoriesByRobyn said...

That is the WORST feeling! It's happened a few times with Lucy. She loves to find hiding spots and go to sleep. She was gone for 5 hours one day, it was horrible. We found her hidden in the basement after we had canvased the neighborhood. God bless you with peace today.... it is a feeling that hangs on for much longer than when the event has passed. You are an EXCELLENT mother!

Kim Corrigan-Oliver said...

I can only imagine how you felt, it much have been horrible. My gut was in knots just reading it.

Your words are lovely and so very true. Thanks for sharing.

TKeyser said...

Just stopped by (via soulemama)to see your "moment", and kept reading. SO glad I did, I'll be coming back now. Thank you for sharing!

loveinthesuburbs.com said...

Yikes! I'm really sorry you went through that. Your post is lovely. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability and your courage to continue to let your children grow.