Focused and determined to head to the skatepark, he turned to say goodbye to me and I dove in to kiss and hug him, saying: “I love you so much, Beloved. Have a beautiful weekend.”
He turned to me and said with such warmth and kindness: “Don’t worry Mama. I’ll be really careful of my body because I know you’re really attached to me.“
(!) My heart caught in my breath as I responded: “Thank you for being careful of your precious body, Love. You’re absolutely right: I am so very attached to you.”
He added: “I’ll listen to my body to know what’s safe and what’s not, ok?.” I looked into his eyes, nodding, and said “Thank you” again, as I realized he was taking care of me with these words, maybe intuitively sensing that however much relief and deeply-needed rest comes with these weekends to myself, after all these years it is still a surrender to hand my children over, even to their loving Papa, out of my sight and away.
Then, in an instant, I caught a glimpse of his older self in his eyes; I could suddenly see him at 19: big, tall, strong and broad-shouldered. And I could see the continuation of his path of bright-eyed, passionate, huge-hearted aliveness. And I realized that this stage we are at with him skateboarding at 5 at quite an advanced level, is probably just the beginning of his path as a devoted, risk-taking athlete; how much he is bound to fall in love with surfing, for example, as soon as he is big enough; and any number of other edgy sports.
And so, deeply grateful for his care of my Mama-heart, I was compelled to care for him in return, to plant some mama-seeds in his awareness, and so I knelt down beside him and said, looking into his eyes: “Ezra: you’re always going to be challenged to take risks that will deepen your confidence, courage and strength. And sometimes you will get hurt, like the other day when your face got bruised? And then you will heal. If you keep balancing your risk-taking with true listening, self-respect and self-care, you will thrive, my love.“
He listened sweetly, smiled, nodded, kissed me, utterly 5 ¾ years old again, and said: “Yep, Mom! I will thrive! Bye!” as he jogged out the door out of my sight.
And I can almost hear the transmission from my dear sisters reading this right now who have survived the devastating loss of their children; can hear their sober words: “Sometimes they get badly hurt and they don’t heal, Sister; they die.” And my head bows down to know the truth of this. We who mother The Living get to live with this stark truth pounding in the center of our beings; as we choose to trust Life with our beloved children anyway, as crazy as that seems.
How we stretch in these moments as parents, over and over, as we trustingly hand our children into the hands of the mystery.
Gone are the days of wearing my babies on my body, their little hands in my hair, entraining their beating hearts with my own. Gone are the days of feeding them the golden milk-light of my heart through my breasts. Gone are the days of being with them every day, intimately, all day long.
Now they get to carry my heart inside them, inside their long muscles and clever brains and clear choices of discernment. Now they get to receive the perspectives and reflections of their other mentors and their peers, to leap and bound into life with their own hearts aflame, nourished by all the heart-seeds I have planted (and will continue to plant as long as I live!) that will sprout and give way to their own life-wisdom and experiences.
I will keep these children as close and safe as I am able, (“really attached”) while surrendering them with a deep breath of trust and love, to the thirsty thrust of their own blossoming lives.