He is all spin and wander.  His eyes follow the ground.  His world is not our world.  We don’t know where he goes when we all gather.  We don’t know what he thinks.  What he sees.  What he wishes.  But it only takes one bright, curious event to bring him back.  For those little boy eyes to waken wide, their long lashes to frame his face again.  Then he is all full lips and inquisitive energy.  Then he stares long and hard.  Then he calls my name, “MAMA!” hard and sharp, calling me to join his world, and, in the process, joining mine.

Then we can be, for this moment, ONE, to explore this new phenomenon that has captured him.

Sometimes I am already too angry, too worried, too distracted, too overwhelmed.  Sometimes I only murmur, distractedly, “wow.”  Sometimes I am passive, reserved. Sometimes I just nod briefly. It is difficult to only be allowed in on another’s terms. The desire for connection is strong.  The need for mutual connection, great. I, like most of us, long to share more of life.  More of daily glory.  More of ourselves.

Shall I agree to take what I can get?  Will I ask for more?  What does it look like to be vulnerable AND strong.  How do I be the alpha mom and the nurturer?  How do I let him sense how much I long to touch his heart, while teaching him that I am stronger than his need to control me? The questions of every mama are magnified for those who parent the hurting child.  As healers to the wounded we become more than simple mothers.  As if being a mother was simple at all.

“MAMA!”  He is at `my arm now, shaking me, dragging me, showing me.  His deep brown eyes, the ones that have seen the unspeakable, that hold the unsayable, that mirror the unknowable, they fix on me, just long enough to command me.  “COME.”

And I do. Somehow, despite all the pain, and the grief, and the anger, and the sadness, and the frustration.  I just keeping coming.

Coming back for you, sweet boy.