"Hey, Mom, thanks for making me go to the dance. I really did have fun. And thanks for picking up flowers," he says from another room as I scroll through the pictures from the fifth grade dance.
"Well, that's my job," I say, without looking up. "There's not too many big Moments in Life, really. And I just couldn't let you miss out on one of them."
I am engrossed in the fine details of the picture I hate or love the most, the one where he is standing next to the girl he went to the dance with, just standing there in our front yard,tall and proud; nervous and scared, and posing for a picture because his Mother said smile. All I can do is look at his hand around her shoulder. It is probably making her feel less nervous but it is making me feel sad, yet proud; although mostly confused because is this what happens to hands? They grow bigger and bigger until one day they are bigger than your own Mother's hands? Until they are big enough to hold flowers and give flowers and then wrap up around another human being, and turn and smile as if to say we have arrived, and the World is Ours?
It is almost twelve years ago that I first saw his hands. They were desperately searching the flourescant air of the hospital room for something familiar. His tiny fists were clenched tight, balled up round and puffy , holding the fear of his future. Knuckles bursting with vivid white angst over what would become of him now in this bright, loud World, devoid of the soothing velvety liquid that blanketed him with the comforts of my beating heart.
He lay there on top of me, my stomach an unstable life raft, a lost, lone buoy; adrift. I could see the confusion in his eyes,the panic played out of his left arm as it jerked rapidly around and around, up and down. His fist was impatiently flagging me down, opening and closing in sync to the machines in the room that converted our hearts to high pitched beeps that always sounded like an emergency.
I felt the same way, and if I could have, I would have flailed about as well,because what the fuck is going on I am so happy I am so scared I think I made a mistake I think I did the greatest thing ever I will be a shitty Mother I will be the greatest Mom oh who am I kidding I am probably not cut out for this, but my legs were somewhere else and my right hand was sore with pin prick bruises and my mind was a flood of Every single moment of my whole entire Life, before This and after This, and the great chaotic beauty of All of This. It wasn't until the salt of my own thoughts dripped slowly to my dry, cracked lips that I realized I was crying.
I laughed out loud, a girlish sort of laugh, and wished to see Us from up above: me Big, him Small, attatched to each other by a perfectly tubular cord of blue-red flesh; just there. I let out a jagged breath, reached my pin prick hand out to take his and help it down from it's turbulent flight.
His angry fist opened up like petals to the Sun, and just like that, he took my giant finger, wrapped it up with his fingers, curled them around five pythons strong, until not even the air could penetrate them, and let out his jagged breath of relief.
Our eyes met, the Confusion stopped, the noise evaporated into the hallway and at that moment, there was nothing shining brighter than this Mom, that Baby, and those Hands, brought down from the vastness and into the comfort of each other, because, hands down, this had to be the greatest of all moments.
"I'm glad I went", his voice trails off as he bends to fix his shoelace near the front door.
"So does this mean you had fun and from now on you'll trust me?" I half-smirk.
His hand is on the door handle, and without moving it, he turns back to look at me, just standing there in the kitchen, tall and proud; nervous and scared.
"Yes, I had fun, yes I'll trust you next time. Can I go, now?"
But the door is already open, and he is already out, and the World is already spinning into the scorch of late afternoon, and I am just standing still in a kitchen with these pictures of one of the greatest moments of his Life.
Hands down. ~
anybody else have these moments, the ones that make you realize Time waits for no one?
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