Today I took my son to school. I kissed him and hugged him. I let him know that I will be there to pick him up. I assured him that I work hard for him. He already knows all this. I tell him everyday.
Today I felt the void that my son feels in his life. Today I realized that I am just not enough. While I love him with all my heart, I am just that- one heart. He used to be loved by two hearts. No matter how much I love on him, I cannot kiss both cheeks at once, hug him with four arms, or cuddle with him on both sides.
Today I must be strong for him. My face must stay dry and my eyes must stay focused. I must listen when he talks and show that I understand. He tries to stay strong for me too. Who is there for us if we can't be strong? Who picks up Mommy at the end of the day?
Today, I cry, hard, on the inside. My mind wanders. My thoughts travel at light speed. My heart is heavy with stabbing pangs of guilt but I will wear a smile. If anyone asks, I will say that I'm fine. . . but no one will ask. No one has called in a while. If anyone were to ask what I accomplished today, I will list tasks of importance and never mention how hard they were to complete.
Today, just like every other day, I accept the fact that I am not a perfect parent. Normally, I just tell myself to learn from my mistakes and move on to better things. This time is different, however. This time I promised my son something without having the ability to deliver on that promise. He went from not wondering to ecstatically hoping. When I failed, my son's heartbreak and my nightmares won't let me forget. To move on, do I try to fix what happened? Do I just apologize? Do I, can I stop it from happening ever again? I've never claimed to have all the answers. No parent does. . . but this. . . I need the answer.
Today, I pray and ask for forgiveness. . . and wisdom. . . and strength I can't possibly hope to possess. Today I ask God to be my other half and give my son all he needs. I go through my internal dialogue, again, arguing about how he would be better with someone else. . . with me. . . with someone else. . . he needs me. . . right? Or do I need him more? Am I selfish? Am I selfless? God, I suck at this. . . but I'm the best shot he has at making it through this life.
Today, he will still love me, even though I have hurt him. Today, he will still smile and he will forgive me. Today, he will chose to hide his unhappiness and show me his best. He will show me the forgiveness and wisdom and strength I need. Today he will lead and I will follow. I have raised a man. . . at five years old.