Tears glittered on my eyelashes as I stepped out the door for a run with Guinness this morning. I could see them clumping my lashes together as I gazed at the blue sky, the puffy white clouds, the beauty of a bird taking flight from the pond. I wondered how long they would stay and if I would notice when they were gone, dried up, freeing my lashes to expand to their single status once more. I watched those tears as I replayed the morning in my mind, my angst huffing out in short breaths, my emotions roiling in my belly, my feet slapping the pavement.
I cried this morning. I cried while the Roc raged in the corner, slamming his hands on the walls, screaming out his frustration. I cried after he hit me, with an open palm on my side, hard enough to sting. I cried as he screamed, “I don’t like you Mommy! I want a new Mommy! You’re not a good Mommy” over and over. Cold tears slipped down my cheeks as I averted my face from him, stretched out my arm so he could see that I was resetting the timer. The timer counting down the minutes of “time out.” I reset it and reset it and reset it.
Finally, finally he was quiet for the determined amount of time, but still my tears were present, filling my eyes and seeping from the corners as I knelt down to help him with his coat. The bus was coming. I felt sick to stomach and so very tired.
“What’s around your eyes Mommy? I don’t like when your face looks like that,” he said.
“I’m crying because I am sad baby, people cry when they are sad. Do you know why I am sad?” I asked him. “Because you hit me Roc, and it hurt. It hurt and it hurt my feelings that you were being mean and saying mean things to me.”
“I’m sorry Mommy,” he said while reaching down to give me a hug. “I’m sorry I made you upset. I made Mommy upset Daddy,” he told GC as he came down the stairs.
I shepherded the Roc out the door as the bus rounded the corner while wiping the tears off my face. I plastered on a smile and gave him a hug and a kiss and watched his now familiar routine of turning back two times to wave bye and then repeat my “have a good day!”
Inside I leaned heavily against the door to close it and met GC’s eyes. “Well, that was fun eh?” I said. The tears fell again as I stuttered out how I normally do not cry, but standing there, feeling the brunt of his slap, hearing his words and all the anger directed at me caused me to have a flash of fear about the future. “What if in 10 years from now, he is still hitting?” I said. “What if my 16 year old son gets mad at me and punches me? What do we do then?”
I closed my eyes and tried to close that door. The door behind which is the Roc’s future. The future no one can forsee, but some say “never.” Never get married, never hold down a job, never live independently, never, not going to. I hate the nevers. No one should say never about a child.
“Everyone deals with this in their own way, and I’ve dealt with it. If it doesn’t happen…that’s okay. He’ll be okay. We’ll be okay,” GC tells me, “I’ve made my peace with it Kim.”
So I push that door shut once again.
I know that I’ll have to open it one day.
Just not today.