Friday, February 22, 2013

don't go

I woke up at 3 AM with a prickly feeling in my chest. A buzzing- as if I had been on a caffeine drip. I knew it was just anxiety about The Mr. and First Born Son leaving for a soccer tournament later in the day. They would go off to work and school as usual; and then they would be on the road to Cleveland. They would be away for just one night. Just to Cleveland. But my anxious tendencies wandered over a list of what if's. For someone who struggles with anxiety every day- that list is miles long. They will be just that much further away- that much further out of sight-out of reach. 

It should have compelled me to be gentler with the morning routine. Mornings are hard. It seems like my children are the only children on the planet who do not get up on their own. It takes multiple reminders escalating into threats and then the physical force of covers being ripped from their comatose bodies.

This morning, First Born Son looked too big for his bed- shins to feet dangling off the end. Foolish me to think that just because I slept on a twin sized bed until I was married-  it would be big enough for him. I just never imagined he would get so tall. His body was still recuperating from practice the night before. His calf muscles were tense when I ran my fingers over them and he smarted and yelled at me to leave him alone. The nasty snap stung. And I clawed back, "Jesus, you're an a@#! I'm so glad that you’ll be gone tonight!"

I didn't mean it. I wanted to say- don't push me away. Don't remind me again that you are inching closer to that day- whenever it is- when you will be on your own. No feet dangling off the bed- in this house- in the morning. 

We were quiet through the rest of the morning motions- the dishes, the cereal, feeding the animals. We gave each other space. I did not apologize. I selfishly clung to my stupid words- because I wanted him to hurt a little, too. 

The middle children left for the bus. The little one was getting her boots on to leave for "school." The Mr. squeezed us together in a farewell and I breathed, Don't go. First Born Son closed the space from across the room. Coming toward me- long, strong arms tightly wrapped around me. Lips to my forehead. I closed my eyes and absorbed his words, I love you.

Don't go. I said.

I know. He answered quietly. 

I stood in the doorway and watched them pull away- the cord to my heart tugging. At least, it's still attached.

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