To My Children

You don’t walk on water very well.  If anything, you have a tendency to sink right through the surface and plummet-bob towards the bottom until water-displacement can replace gravity and you float to the surface.

Even then, you’re not walking.  You’re just flying on the molecular edge of the water, where 2 H’s meet an O.

Sounds like a weird love triangle.

A moment ago, I scrolled past a video in which a woman in beats her two year-old son.  Because of a missing or misplaced phone charger.  And as I sat in the peaceful niche of my porch swing on a warm spring evening, I felt the surge of grief and pain that a person could do this to a child.

A mother could hurt her son with such ferocity.

The beating happens off screen.  But another woman recorded the entire thing and had no mercy, no compassion to catch the flailing hand and stop the thundering fists and raining screams of the mother berating her child.

I have been angry with you so many times before, have shouted things at you I later burned into myself with red-hot regret and tattoo needles filled with remorse.  I have allowed petty frustrations and anger to replace the patience I should have kept.

Regardless, you are still quite wonderful.  Despite the fact that you can not do ballet dances on the undulating humps of water.  Despite that you have not worn the burden of perfection nor will you ever have that label.

Yes, I want you to study harder, always turn in your homework, maybe even apply yourself a little more stringently to your chores.  Yes, I don’t always like your choice in music (shocker, my parents hated mine) and your rooms are more likely to be condemned as opposed to opened for friends to visit.  Yes, when you deliberately annoy one another, I kind of want to unleash the ferocity of my anger at you, even if for a moment because you are annoying me too.

Then, other moments arrive.  Today, you met me at the trunk of my car, lifted out my teacher-bag, and carried it into the house, refusing to let me bear the weight of grades and expectations.  Daily, you hold the door for me when we arrive at school, even if I am a bit embarrassing to you because I am your mother and you are a student in a building that I usually inhabit.

Daily, you ask after my welfare, my well-being.  You check in on my needs and do your best to ensure they are met.  You encourage me to exercise.  You encourage me to relax.  You encourage me to write.

You will pick up colored-pencils and will color in the new mandala-coloring book I bought, even if you do think it’s a bit lame.  You indulge in my silliness, sometimes even encourage it.

My beloved son, my darling daughter, I have made so many mistakes, lost my temper over so many stupid things.  I have allowed myself not to bite my tongue and lash out at you over just foolish things.

And I’m so sorry.

Today, after I recognized the ferocity of that “mother’s” wrath, I came in and held you, pulled you close to me and just felt the tenderness of your beating heart.

The only beating I want to ever experience with you is that….your heart.  Pulsing life through your veins and inhabiting every atomic corner within you.

I have done my best for you, done my best to be as good of a mother as I could.  I know that I have failed at times, and I humbly beg your forgiveness.  Regardless, in the end, despite all your mistakes and misfortunes, I promise that I will only greet you with an open hand and never a tightened fist.

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