Nine years ago this month, I was blessed with a baby boy so plucky and sweet I cried quiet tears whenever I held him. I would press my nose and lips against the downy hair sprouting from his wobbly head, and wonder if anything would make me that happy ever again.
I wanted to create a little cocoon for my baby where he would never feel sad, hurt, or disappointed. I didn’t want him to be the last kid picked for kickball teams. I didn’t want another kid to tell him he’s fat or laughs weird. I didn’t want him to become hard and closed, like the scales of a lodgepole pine cone, sealed shut by resin, only able to open in the heat of a forest fire.
The one thing about time–you can’t stop it. I’ve watched my boy pick up his fair share of bumps and scratches along the way and I get my fair share of calls from school. The latest one, yesterday, was about mutual boy-meanness. He picked on a kid, and the kid told him that he was fat enough to be the Earth. There were big salty tears shed on both sides.
Those bittersweet tears, although hard to watch, are a reminder to me that he isn’t closed. Not yet. He’s still just as vulnerable as he was nine years ago. It’s my job as a mama to help keep him that way.