But it's worse lately. I've been feeling this whole jumble of emotions MOST days, not just on birthdays. Right now, I am really struggling with the hard things. The cancers. The tornadoes. The wrongness and atrocities and things I'd like to shield my children from ever knowing. The aging. The dwindling. The sickness. The sadness. The sin. The bittersweetness of life.
I guess I tend to focus a LOT on the "bitter" and not quite so much on the "sweet." Which stinks, because there's a whole lot of sweet!! I know. I used to count. And...my kiddos ARE sweet.
It's just that they keep on growing!! And I sort of wish they wouldn't. Sometimes, deep down, I think I actually HATE their birthdays. I don't want to. I want to enjoy the day and honor my children and be grateful for their little lives!! And I DO think and feel those things...
I also feel deep, deep sorrow. This is hard and a bit humiliating for me to say "out loud," but it is the truth.
Today on my little Gabriel's birthday, we were having a yard sale--of all things! And while I was hanging out in my least favorite portion of our home, the garage (yech!), I came upon ANOTHER box we hadn't managed to unpack after we moved. And it was FULL of books. In fact, more than half of my poetry collection was in there, so I did what anybody who would like to avoid the realities of yard sale-ing would do. I got busy reading poems. Ahhhh.......
But then there was this one. By David Coy.
Our pup has chewed on the faces
of the stuffed animals,
unravelled those fixed expressions
with sharp teeth,
then tore their bodies asunder.
"No, no, bad dog!" we scold.
Bear, Rabbit, Owl
are all dismembered.
Cotton litters the yard,
twisted bits of cloth.
We wonder what to tell the boy
whose body we remember holding
as he held on his lap
these soft toys.
But it was he
who baited the dog,
who left these sacrifices
one at a time
in flagrant disregard of the past.
Cute, huh? But also cutting. At least to me--a mama raw with emotions on this particular day.
Plus it's true. It doesn't even have to be a Wednesday. And one certainly doesn't have to HAVE a puppy (and we don't) that goes around destroying precious stuff-memories. Kiddos on their life's journey just have a way of sacrificing their past all on their own. Heartlessly. Because they change and they grow, and they change and they grow, and they don't even remember those sweet-smelling, midnight-feeding, awe-inspiring cuddle moments in which your heart enveloped every. single. thing. about them and was utterly and completely filled to the brim.
They have never acknowledged the danger in which YOU have been ever since that filling. Danger of losing them. A little bit...at a heart-wrenching time.
My baby is 7. Agonizingly 7.