You never know what will cause it. Sometimes it is a voice, a word, a story, a season. Sometimes it is obvious that it is coming and you can prepare yourself, gird yourself. But then you have days like today, where you sink into the darkness, it surrounds you, engulfs you, sucks the breath right out of you, leaving you gasping. You didn’t see it coming, it snuck up on you. Now you’re left, standing in a crowded room, driving down a busy highway, alone. The voices drift away, the highway roar dulls but you continue to move, smiling, driving, walking, and existing. Like nothing happened – yet everything changed. .
For me, most recently it was stockings. I was driving down the road and I started thinking about Christmas stockings and just like that I was blinded by pain, by memories, by coldness. See the truth is some memories follow you. Sometimes I forget that they are there. Sometimes I think for a brief moment that it didn’t happen, that it isn’t my story, that it isn’t part of me. Truth is, I would give it all up in a second not to feel this way, to not live with this story. I wish with everything in me that I could go back, make a different decision and keep my innocence.
Were they fed?
It’s been years since the events happened that made me, since then, I have a son, he is perfect. At night, he sleeps on my chest, warm, safe and secure and their faces come to me in the darkness. Where do they sleep, did someone hold them when they were born, does someone whisper “I love you” in their ear while they sleep. Were they fed when hungry or did they lay on the floor crying. How long did they cry and why didn’t anyone come. Finally, I always end up here, wondering – What about now?
Looking back to then and thinking of today
The other day, I hung stocking on our fireplace, embroidered with our names. As I held the stocking, feeling the fabric, my mind took me back. To the classroom, with the dirty floor, the smell of chalk penetrating the air.
The neglect, the mess, the chaos but in the corner a Christmas tree, wrapped in lights and 20 some stocking hanging off the chalk board, decorated in glitter with their names, waiting to be filled. Each child sitting at their desk, the lights off, calmness surrounds us as I read a story, some lay their heads down, the light from the tree bathes their faces, others calmly color or draw. Peace.
Just like my son, at 2 am after feeding. The glow of the tree bounces off his face, casting his skin the look of porcelain. Calm, peaceful, knowing that he is loved, feed and cared for. I wonder where they are this year. Will anyone read them a story? Will anyone make them feel comforted, loved or safe? Or was that their last Christmas.
So who am I? Why am I telling you dark story on a mommy blog?
I am a new mom navigating my changing life, yet, I have this baggage that I carry with me from before I became a mom. I now straddle two worlds. My past and this unknown future where no one knows what made me. I am forging ahead alone trying pick up the pieces of my life that they broke so that I can go back to the girl I was before them, so that I can become the mom I need to be for my son. Together, he and I are taking a journey, him growing up and me, letting go.
In the quietness of the night, I wonder, can I shake the dust off, fluff my hair and go back to the girl I use to be? Carefree. She is could smile without sadness, see babies without thinking about the dying ones, hear children laughing without wondering about the others that are crying. She lived in a happy world, where goodness existed and things were possible. Now that world is foreign and as I hold my son, I grip him a little tighter because the world he was born into isn’t beautiful and I have to figure out how to create a beautiful world when I don’t believe in it anymore. But I will do it because he deserves it. So here is to bringing back childhood, simplifying life and living differently.