I've been more melancholy as of late than I care to express. I've done what most writers do, crawled up into myself to see how the story unfolds.
I'm noticing things that are swooshing past me and even as I reach out to grab hold, nothing even brushes my fingertips. Only the wind created by what was.
There are no more colorful pre-school toys littering my bathroom floor. The cabinet that houses all the plastic dishes and bottles, character plates and sippy cups, hasn't been emptied but goes unopened. The girls are all big enough for real glassware now.
The oldest girl is getting more mail than I've gotten in ten years. All from colleges because she's almost gone.
And the time! All this time I have. Uninterrupted showers. Yoga. Writing. It should be so relaxing. Only it's not. It's sad.
My phantom babies are still crying at my side. They want to be held, breast fed, scooped up and snuggled. And when I give in and go to care for them, my arms grab onto air. Empty and hollow.
I've been told that being a grandmother is wonderful. And I guess I can believe it (though I'm years away from that-- let's hope) but I know the soldiness of motherhood. The absolute reality that when the baby is sick in the middle of the night a steamy shower and a good rub of Vicks will make them sleep on my chest. Only I won't sleep. I stay awake all night and try to read one handed by the glow of the warm night light. I won't do that with my grandchildren. That's a mother's job.
Last night my littlest was not feeling well. I bathed her and wrapped her up tight. I put her in my bed and snuggled close to her. She fell asleep nestled against my chest.
The oldest walked in and kissed her forehead.
"You used to love being here," I said.
"I still do Mom," she replied as she walked out the door and entered her own world (room)
Come back! I have another arm! I miss you. Where did you go? I want to take care of you!
I will always take care of you. You were here first.
You are the owner of my heart.
This world and all who live in it better be good to her. Oh yes. Because if they treat her in a manner that is not in keeping with the wondrous and gentle soul she has always been, there is no telling what I may do.
Be warned world. This mother bear is ready for you.