"Mommy, I wish I could live with you forever and with papa for sometimes."
The last words my son said before he fell asleep put me in a state of unrest. My heart breaks every time they go to with their father for "his" two weeks, but this phrase, uttered by my baby, haunted me to sleeplessness until morning.
I've had them for over a month now. I've felt like myself for the first time in over two years. I'm the mother I am, the mother I'm meant to be. I give them so much; I give them all I am; I give it willingly.
But then, when they go; I'm empty.
I once thought that new love -one that takes the form of food, a lover, a sport -could fill their void, but to no avail. I come close in the arms of my fiancee, but the wholeness of my being is lacking for the simple reason of my children not being nearby. I search within myself, and it only proves time and again that the ME I've always been meant to be is, and has always been, "mother."
I'm not even maternal. I'm probably more associated with being a dog-owner or horse-lover than a mom, but I only became whole when my daughter became part of me. And I don't' mean that in the creepy, she's going to linger forever kind of way, but in the empty-nest way that a mother of very young children shouldn't have to experience.
I was so un-prepared to be a mother; I was ready to be hers. I fought with my life to be hers, even sacrificed it, only to be revived so that I could be her living mother.
Initially, when deciding on a second child, my greatest fear with was that I might not love him as much; a fear overrun by reality and proven wrong the minute he became part of me; instead my heart doubled over and there was love to come. So much more than I ever knew one person could hold; and so it was as I held him the other night, rocking him to sleep.
I should be driving to my fiancee's house, but my emptiness won't let me through the door. I know with my mind I don't deserve the private hell I'm suffering, of my children being with my ex-husband; I fall so short of myself when they aren't with me. I might be glad for the time I have without them, the time parents swear they'd use to do a million different things, but instead I try to rush into sleep. I rush to the next time I see them.
I shouldn't be mourning their absence like death, but I do; a little every time. Some of the greater hits I've taken have been more shattering than should be permissible in a mother's lifetime. When they leave, sometimes I feel dead. Sometimes I feel nothing. Today I feel pain in my chest; -no. It's their absence. Right now I feel their absence...
They are so young. When my children tell me they wish they could be with me forever, it is next to impossible to hold back the tears, to not tell them that I want it, I want it even more than they do. But they wouldn't understand at their age why I can't make it happen. I've tried. I've tried so many times and so hard and with so many attorneys but it's beyond my control. For now, I'll just continue to miss them, and continue to wish for forever with them too.