Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Mother's Separation

The little boy whose hand used to fit snugly in mine (when he wanted it to) is now bigger than me.  He's taller than me and his feet are several sizes larger than mine.  Now those hands which I distinctly remember squeezing tight and holding next to the pushchair handles as he screamed his way down Ashton Old Road, refusing to hold on, are now bigger than my hands.

Things are happening to this little boy of mine.  Things I don't understand as a woman.  Things he doesn't want me to understand as his mum.  And I can't keep up.

One minute he was bouncing across all the sofas and playing 'tickle monster' with me.  The next minute he is confined to his bedroom, music blaring, and when he does join us he lolls around on the sofas making inhuman sounds.

And I feel panic rising up.  That little boy has disappeared, never to return again.  In his place is a young man, full of opinion and youthful arrogance.  

I knew that little boy.  I knew every inch of his body.  I knew when he'd done a poo, when he'd cleaned his teeth and how much fruit he'd eaten each day.  His body was mine too and I could cuddle, stroke and touch whenever I wanted.  I could scoop him up in my arms and kiss his chubby little cheeks.  I could blow great big raspberries on his belly as he laughed from the depths of it.

That body is changing now.  It's not mine anymore.  Rightly, it's his.  But I grieve that soft skin and that little hand worming it's way into mine.  I feel sad that this body, created and grown inside mine, is doing it's own thing without my help.

Separation anxiety is now reversed as I have to separate from my boy.   I have to work out what it means to guide my boy into becoming the young man he is supposed to become.  

Time to take yet another step back, watching and waiting in the wings for when he needs me again.

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