Essay: On Mother’s Day, the love story that doesn’t end

The first time I saw you, you were a smudge on an ultrasound screen. The doctor said you’d probably eaten your twin. Or maybe she didn’t use those words, but that was my takeaway because your mom is somewhat of a weirdo. You didn’t feel real then; you were only a smudge.

Nine months ago, when I told you daddy couldn’t live with us anymore, you, along with the younger brother you taught to walk and talk and read, screamed and shook and went so hysterical that I couldn’t do anything but forget my own heavy grief and hold you both in my bed for hours until you eventually fell asleep. And if I broke your heart that night, my girl, just know that I broke mine, too. Sometimes hearts need to be broken.

When you were 2, I forced you to watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video over and over, even though you were scared. Must appreciate genius, I thought. When you were 3, I filled a kiddie pool with whipped cream in our kitchen and forced you to play in it, even though it was cold. Must do unconventional things, I thought. You still weren’t real, just an extension of me and my narcissism, subject to my eccentric moods and whims, who I’d been chosen to guide.

Now you’re a 7-year-old maybe-genius who, two weeks ago, pooped in a box in the neighbor’s driveway. When I yelled at you for pooping in a box in the neighbor’s driveway, you got upset because I had never specifically told you not to do so.

I wondered if I was screwing you up after my own love story had ended. What else could I wonder when you were pooping in a box in the neighbor’s driveway?

When you were born, you didn’t cry or scream or make any sound at all. The umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck. You were OK, though, because your little arm was outstretched above your head, the way you still sleep sometimes, giving you a baby-arm-thickness-sized buffer between life and death. You most certainly didn’t seem real, then, this newborn baby who wouldn’t cry.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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