I stood still for a moment,
Giving myself the chance to inhale,
Taking in with breath all that the last eighteen months had brought.
I’m heavy still with the weight of grief,
My head sore with an onslaught of knowledge,
Slight by size as the physical toll sheds me of bulk,
And momentarily suffocated by the removal of a singular me.
And it occurs to me,
Not only have I been overwhelmed by giving to constant need,
But that Isaac has been bombarded by unyielding attention.
And with my instinctive drive to give to him,
Fix for him,
I have actually taken away something precious,
Something invaluable for future learning,
And attentiveness –
Naturally this is harder physically for him,
But also an ongoing life battle he fundamentally faces alone.
I am his mother,
But I do not have cerebral palsy –
That is all his own.
And so I both willingly and forcefully step back for a moment,
Walk from the room,
To what suddenly feels like open air,
Rich with oxygen,
My lungs suddenly crave.
And here I become an onlooker,
Holding back from my habitual interruption,
Watching from a far,
A rare glimpse at how he chooses to problem solve –
And both to my expectation, and my sadness,
It’s so fleeting an independence,
Before he cries for me,
To which naturally I answer.
Highlighting both the imperative development of playing alone,
And how far he has to go to get there.
The increments to which he will cope,
I reassure, will get longer,
As everything leading up til now,
As will this be.
As I hear the words roll around my minds circuit,
An interpretation of its own booms loud and clear,
Rocking my balance,
Having me dread my future.
And then filling me with rancid guilt –
Yet another thing I have to teaching him.
Immediately to show my devotion to him,
And in offer as an apology he doesn’t even know I owe,
I whisk him up into my arms,
Squishing his little face to mine,
And tell him three simple little words.
I love you.
And consciously push aside my woes for another day.
Next task – learn to use a straw, smoothie time!
And off we go in a sea of smiles.