“There’s the moon,” says Enzo. “Can I hold it?” “Sure,” I say. What will we hold it with? A lasso? Gloves? Or just barehanded? Moonlight illuminates Enzo’s soft face. I want to place a plump kiss on his cheek. I want to squeeze him and rock him to kingdom come. He is new in this life. He is brand new. He takes the jacket off his stuffy. “He’s hot. He doesn’t need a jacket.” We flip through a book and see a mouse hiding. “He’s hiding,” Enzo says. “Can I hide?” Enzo scootches into the closet. “Where is he?” Enzo says, “I can’t find him anywhere!” We take playdough out. “Can you make Papa?” Enzo asks. “Can you make a snake?” Enzo’s shaggy hair swings about his head cheerfully. “Sing the Papa song!” Enzo requests. “Sing the zamboni song!” My little boy knows how to make believe. He makes believe every day.
Gram and Gramps’ house is on the island in the middle of farm and bush land. I had my fill of lazy mornings on the crisp porch with thick blankies and steaming cups of coffee. Padding on paths around a little island in the midst of their property, while breaking through wispy webs and enjoying family comradery was grand. Little man (my son) was very particular about everything except the weather (He loves the rain)—who was allowed to feed him, what ball he would use and which socks he wore. My Dad is a hippie under his sweatshirt and jeans, and Gram is a free and wild bird. The hippie inside me stirred too. Lots of tears for that girl as she feels lost sometimes. Perhaps if she’d made different choices. But love is where it all comes together.
Why does a coffee make the difference between a livable morning and a sluggish one? That once every three minute mouthful packs a punch that keeps me positive and powerful. I like coffee. Starbucks strong, home brew with milk, in house roasted beans at the bean scene with smooth cream—I like it all. Holding my mug is my adult binky, my big people blankie for comfort. Give me an hour of holding my fresh brew and I will smile at the day. I will be ready to learn, to grow, to play with my son and to answer kindly to the high maintenance customer. The brew coats my palette, sharpens my mind and awakens my humor. The brew is the brains and the brawn of the early hours. Coffee is my morning compadre.
I imagined blossoms of all sizes and colors falling on me from the trees. It was just a thought as I was walking home today. I can have love or I can have fear. I really do have choices to make. Work today was dread and anxious deadlines. Home with husband was hard. But tonight I waded through water till I got out deep in surging waves. I just drove and drove, stopped, and jumped in with my clothes on. I was baptized in nature and I came out a woman with some peace. I can tell you I have choices to make. Will I get my back up tomorrow or nurture my customers? Will I slough off a snide remark or get bent out of shape? Will I breathe deep, in with the joy, or will I sigh, heavyhearted. I can tell you, I want to be good. I want to be good. And I can be.
“Mommy and Enzo are swinging together,” the little whipper said. He is a little man. He knows when he wants a Mum Mum. He knows when he wants a dime. He has little bright eyes that draw you in. He loves playing with dragon. Dragon slurps him. Enzo dances like a Jamaican when the music is loud.
You know, it was all blurry at first. My memories aren’t strong when I am in that God forsaken place. Two months of a precious little mouth at my breast and then into a howling windstorm of post partum, psychosis, mania, call it what you may. And then everybody was the Antichrist. And people were lifting up their hands in allegiance to this Antichrist. I have megalomania cal tendencies, as you may have guessed.
I pumped breast milk every day, thinking that was all I had left to give as a motherly duty. My new, precious baby was staying with the in-laws, and I was riding a wave of psychosis that seemed to plateau, not break. I departed from reality, and began to believe the Bible was being re-written by hooligans, and the notes written in my Bible were not penned by me. Oh yeah, and false miracles were happening all around me.
Well, Jess is back. Over a year later, and she’s back. It was a nauseating wave that I rode. I seemed to make a little headway and then slip back into tumult. But now I wake up in the morning to a cheery little face and my husband puts on the coffee. Now church is love and fun. Now my little one and a half year old runs to meet me and we play every day in the lazy river at the pool. I’m on some good dope—you know—meds.
My memories are pockets. I don’t have much of a memory of those first six months of my son’s life. And then even when I was better I wasn’t better. My memories lie like the colored leaves all about the ground right now. Here and there one gets picked up. Did I do that? I think I did.
But now I am proud as the sun. I beam while my son says “purple,” “feathers” and “crane,” the new words on the list for today. He laughs and I giggle. He giggles while I tickle. We are so alive. He says Mummy all the time. I am his favorite flavor. So now I just breathe it all in, and hold it all close to my chest. This is my Alma mater, the school I attended when my beautiful baby was first born, and now I am back in the business of cherishing moments.
Yesterday I fed you and tears glistened in the corners of your eyes. You wanted to hold the spoon and I wouldn’t let you. I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings. You are so special. You hold the deepest, fuzziest place in my heart. I want to toss you so I can see you gleam and laugh. You take everything in stride, and you are as sweet as Tim Bits. I just wanna squeeze you!
Mommy is fading. Mommy is fading, trapped behind glass. I want to give you more. I want to give you sunshine and breeze on your face. I want to touch your little hands. But Mommy is slipping away into no man’s land. And the rain is on the glass. You wave bye-bye, and Mommy is alone again. Mommy is alone in her soul’s swamp. Your nose is a button like mine. Press it against the glass. Press it against the glass. Let me see you. You are lovely.
My hubby has poof galore in his locks. His hair is wild and his face is strong and angular. Kind of like the way he loves me. Strong love sometimes expressed through strong words that can be hard to hear. He won’t let me give up. He is Da Da. My son rolls his r’s like a Spaniard. His eyes are bright and they actually sparkle. He’s plumb full of life. His hands touching my face are so tender and loving. They make me feel precious. I am Ma Ma. He is my joyful, beautiful rascal.
Mr. Lucky Junior. My baby. My most prized possession. Pushing him out was more extreme than skydiving. There he was, all pink, wet and cone shaped on top, and marvelously beautiful—marvelously alive. He’s the piece of me that tugs on all my heartstrings, and brings a lump to my throat. He’s so soft, so adorable, so inquisitive, so tenderhearted—his gaze grabs my sensibilities. He stretches proud and nonchalant like a lion king. When he cries it is immediate, desperate and spirited. He softly moves his fingers like maybe a poet or a thinker would. His eyes are pure and filled with wonder, lapping up this amazing world. His hair is fuzzy and his skin is as soft as morning time. The way he is nourished at my breast is ultra beautiful to me. He’s not me and he’s not Daddy. He makes up his own mind when he will bellow and when he will melt me with a smile. He’s all miracle.