My son knocked a pretty gnarly scab off of his ankle while we were at the park hanging out with other conservative hippies who are in total denial about being hippies. He sat on the ground rocking back and forth in a panic and apparently speaking in tongues as blood gushed from his surprisingly vascular wound. He was inconsolable and incoherent as I tried to communicate to him that everything would be all right.
Finally, in bad mother form, I threw my hands up in the air and walked away curtly declaring, "I can't help you when you are like this!" He relented and removed his hand from the crimson-flowing booboo. I recovered it with the Squidward glow-in-the-dark adhesive bandage (purchased prior to receiving the boycott info on BandAid) and told him it was no big deal and to go play.
He reaffirmed his belief that this was indeed a life or death issue despite my consolation, and I gave him the option of leaving his friends, going home, cleaning up the wound, smothering it in salve, rebandaging it, and having him rest in the bed for a few hours while we bit our lips waiting to see if he would survive. Evidently, the power of God was upon him and a miraculous healing occurred, for he was instantly better and off like a shot to rejoin the merciless playground beatings of kindergarteners with sticks.
Later that night while filling the washer with a load of whites something just missed the basin and tumbled to the floor. Ah, a sock grenade. Unfurling it I notice the dark garnet patches of soaked and dried blood. At once tunnel vision. At once sucked through the vacuum of time. An emotional "out of body" experience, I see myself holding the socks I wore to the abortion clinic to abort my second trimester child. To kill, ladies and gentlemen, my precious, healthy little girl or little boy. The socks are covered in mother-child blood, the last time we would touch.
Oh I wanted to throw them away like everything, EVERYTHING else... but somehow, my hand held over the trash would not release. Instead I buried them. But not deep enough, because nearly 8 years later here it is; my dirty laundry roaring back.
Several times lately I am realizing in small snippets of stripped reality that um... I killed my child. That it really happened, and that it really was my little boy or little girl. A person. My person. My squishy little cooing fat puff... like the other fat puffs who've issued forth from my flesh.
Yikes. I like to stay back a little. I mean, I'm in it... I get close enough to feel the heat... but usually I blow a fuse before the emotional surge singes fur and skin off. But no. No buffer lately. Raw electricity of love eviscerated and lost. But it's that time, isn't it? I found out I was pregnant with my doomed li'l belly buddy the day after Thanksgiving. I'm too busy to rent space to this right now, but there you are. My psychic VW sits booted on the curb, and there's still Christmas shopping to do; I ain't goin' nowhere. It's a brick and I'm drowning slowly.
The cherry on top is the ensuing dream... I keep having these babies. Over and over I have them. They crawl out of me like joeys. They are all around 15 weeks of course. I'm Katy No-Pocket, defective and scrambling. Instead the thing to do is to sandwich each baby between a warm, white towel and hope for the best. In the dream this makes sense. In the dream this is an effective way to incubate a baby. But I am careless. I leave the towels on the floor where the babies are trod on. They are squished in half. Weeping swollen silver tears, I remove the outer layers of towel and peer in at the broken bodies. I resolve to try again, but I am never careful. Each child comes to ruin. Each life mangled and spent. I cry and cry and can not for the life of me understand why I keep making the same mistake over and over again when I care so much for the children I endanger and spoil.
I wake up and realize it's the same child. It's always the same child. My first, my heart's confection. What the world calls nothing is everything to me. It never ends. It's the perpetual loss of Tennessee.