My son said Mama.
He has crawled. He is pulling himself up to standing and moving alongside furniture. He pulls himself up to the piano, his hands reach keys and he bangs on clusters of notes, then picks one or two keys out and a melody happens. He hangs by one arm, sways back to see me, to see me see him and breaks out into a full faced smile.
My son is sick and I’m not there and he coughs and I hear him through the monitor and he wakes himself up and says “mammamamamamamama”.
My son sleeps through the night and doesn’t need to feed off me now every few hours. My son lays in my lap for only a few seconds before pushing my hands off him to squirm away, eager to move to the next place. My son is 8 months old today. My son is moving away from me and today I drive north to spend the weekend doing shows so I can pay some bills and I don’t want to drive away from the boy who is pushing away from me already, too soon.
My son said Mama, looked at me in the eyes, his hands outstretched toward me and said “Mama”. Just that. Not the stream of vowels, humming on the ‘m’ to break up the moan. He said a word and looked at me and put me together with that word.
My breasts are not full to bursting anymore. My son feeds off my breasts in the early morning, lingers on the left more than the right. My son feeds off my breasts after he cries, to calm, to soothe, to chew on a nipple with his new two teeth. I let him for a minute until it pierces and hurts. My son reaches out with his hands to my nipple and bats at my breast, a toy.
I am not necessary for my son to stay alive anymore. My husband feeds supplemental formula to my son as we have done since the beginning when my son hadn’t latched and was losing weight. We keep this up so that my husband is a part of the feeding of my son, so that it’s not all on me, as I need to be able to separate myself sometimes, and I feel guilty about this, but then, none of this is normal, this having a child at 50 with a full life that was challenging to put to pause. My husband always seems slightly jealous of the connection I have with my son, him on my breast. This may be something I am imagining.
My son said Mama.
The tendons in my left arm are in excruciating pain typing this. I have a tennis elbow injury from holding my son, from lifting him. I can barely lift a glass of water without pain. The pain was localized to just the elbow but is now spreading down tendons of my forearms and up the inside of my arm to my shoulder, under the scapula. It pulls and burns. My arm burns from holding the heft of my son. My playing arm is now compromised by my motherness.
My right hip burns too. Bursitis. Or inflammation. But I can’t walk straight after being seated for too long. I can’t lay on my left side and allow my leg to lay on top of the other as the stretch of the outside muscle of my thigh burns.
Burns from carrying the weight of my son inside for 9 months.
My arm burns from carrying the weight of my son outside for 8 months.
In one month he will have been out of my womb as long as he was in it.
My body aches in different places on opposite sides.
My heart aches right in the center.
My son said Mama. So, none of the rest matters.
November 11, 2018