You had a nightmare last night. Woke up screaming at 2am. For a while, you were inconsolable, obviously still affected by the images haunting your dreams.
I thought you’d want your Daddy so I sent him to calm you. You always want your Daddy.
This time was different, it was my name you chanted when you saw him enter your room. Daddy wouldn’t do, you needed your Mother’s touch.
I scooped you up and you instantly wrapped your arms around my neck, allowed your legs to coil around my waist and nuzzled your head into my neck.
I held you as you sobbed loudly and erratically. I rocked you and reassured you that everything would be alright. I took you to my bed and held your body until you were completely soothed. Then, I lay with you until you fell back to sleep.
The feeling was bittersweet.
Partly, I felt saddened by your distress. It broke my heart to see you hurting, to watch you cry with fear in your eyes. Yet, partly I felt happy.
For so long, I’ve worried about our bond. It’s never me you crave, never me you look for. Since Siena was born, I worry that you’ve learnt to take comfort in others first. I’ve anxiously wondered whether you became accustomed to my negligence, if you learnt to turn to others when Mammy couldn’t be there for you.
I never want you to feel that way. That, in itself, breaks my heart more that anything else ever could. I’ll always be there for you and I’ll always love you unconditionally.
When Siena was born, her prematurity and illness meant her needs were momentarily greater than yours. I tried my very best to make sure you didn’t notice. But I guess you did.
Before she arrived, we were so close. I was your comforter, your entertainer, your best friend. I was yours. You loved me and I knew it, I felt it in those delicate moments we shared. Your cottage pie kisses were gentle and tender. Your cuddles were long and generous.
Now, I wonder whether you feel differently about me.
It’s no longer me you cry for. It’s no longer me you turn to for comfort or for fun. I sense the disappointment when it’s me you get and not your Dad.
I don’t know how to fix the distance between us. I look at other women with their sons and cry that our bond isn’t the same. I love you insanely and want you to be aware of that.
It breaks my heart when you push me away, when you cry because your Daddy has left and you’re stuck with me. When I ask you for a kiss and you turn your head, when I try to cuddle you but you kick away.
I wonder if you’re angry with me, if you feel as though your love wasn’t enough? It was baby. It would have always been enough. Your love could move mountains. Your love taught me what love actually was.
Once Siena arrived, I made special effort to still do things together. Your Art class was meant to be an opportunity for us to still do fun things together, our Monday’s were also Mother and Son fun days. Then I returned to work and the gulf between us intensified.
So, tonight, as you cried, I selfishly took comfort in your neediness. You cried for me and that meant the world.
As you grow, I hope our bond does too. I want you to know that I’ll always be the person there for you first. I’ll listen to your problems, wipe away your tears and always care about your hopes and dreams. I’ll hold your hand through hardships and celebrations. I’ll kiss your scraped knees and mend your hurts. I’ll always be ready to comfort you.
I’m just waiting for you to need me.