Baby, what makes you cry? I am right here, in the other room, steps away from you. Mama hasn’t left you. But you don’t know that, do you? You think that I have disappeared, and that I may never come back, permanently gone from you. Without me, your world feels unstable. I am your protector. You think we are one, a part of each other. When I am out of your sight, a part of you goes missing. I am your everything.
Some days it feels too much. This togetherness nature has devised for us. Like those times when you gaze at me while I sit on the toilet, your head cocked to one side, quizzically watching. I wonder what it would be like, to be alone, without you for company? Or how about the day I forgot it was garbage day and I hurried to the end of the drive, thinking I could be back before you noticed I was gone. After all, you were playing with your toys on the living room floor. But you were looking for me, big tears rolling down your cheeks, arms held high, and my heart crumbled a little when I saw that you were afraid.
Oh, and then there is night, when you are so fast asleep that I am sure you are barely breathing and I quietly tip toe from the room. Yes, I think to myself with a mother’s relief, now I am alone, without you, and I hurry to the couch, tea in hand, my book open and ready.
Page 1…page 2…half-way through page 3…and then I hear you, your crying wafting down the stairs, through the space between us. I wait, thinking surely you will sleep a little longer, but no, you continue to cry out, louder now and I take the stairs, two at a time. I see you sitting up, tousled hair, searching eyes, and my heart skips a beat. I draw you to my breast, watching you suckle… eyes closing, breath slowing, tears drying.
Such a short season of your life, this time of needing me so intensely. One day I will wait for you to call, I will long to hold you close, I will remember the feel of your small body against mine. Miles and miles will separate us. You will no longer need me to shelter you from the world. The world will be yours. You will be big and strong and secure.
But for now, at this moment in time, I am your everything. I am your Mama.