I live with my parents.
I’m sooooo tired. Stupid tired.

This morning Tre and Max

This morning Tre and Max and I were sitting at the table, doing school. Raphael played contentedly in the sunroom behind me. He wandered among the toy detritus, chattering quietly to himself, “Ah see stwaberry. Ah don’ like stwaberry. Nooo. Don’ like stwaberry. Don’ eat ‘em.” I glanced at him over my shoulder. He was indeed looking at a picture of a strawberry. And indeed, he does not like them. What a sweet wee Shooperman.
I went back to my efforts with Max in the direction of phonics. Max. Darlin’ boy, he gets it, and he even enjoys the little reading work we do. But the meandering journey of attention from his own world to the page in front of him…this journey is making me old. Anyhow, after a few minutes of work with Max I heard Raphael saying something. I turned to see him ambling around the sun room, calling out, “Daddy! Daddy! Daaaaadddeeeeeyy!” I stared at him. Chills. Raphael has never spoken to his father. The last time he saw him, Raphael was eleven months old. He had two teeth, and drooled a lot. He couldn’t walk yet, and he was so baby-chubby he had dimples in the curve of his belly. He’s never called out for his father, as though he were there. He doesn’t know about this person who should be here, who isn’t.
Raphael caught sight of me. “Ah can’t found Daddy,” he stated. I nodded, wondering what to say. The truth is, this isn’t a trauma for him. Not yet. And no one knows how this loss will play out in his little heart. He’s got a lot of love, coming at him from all sides. He might be fine with the fact that some guy contributed half his genes and then split. That somewhere, out there, there is a man with a goofy set of ears identical to his own, and their lives never intersect. He might not agonize over it. Some people don’t. Some people do.
However he does deal with this, he doesn’t need my anxiety to add to his own. So I swallowed, and said as lightly as possible, “Nope. He doesn’t live with us.” He nodded, picked up a Buzz Lightyear action figure, and started flying it around the room.
I turned back to the table, where Max and Tre were sitting motionless. Mention their dad and their hearts go on point. I wanted pull them on my lap, mother them up one side and down the other. Kisses and hugs and gentle words. I think they get sick of that sometimes. So I squeezed their hands and we went on with the day.
It sucks, not being able to patch up this wound. They’re so much better that they were, but it’s slow. And as a mom, I want to have fixed it by now. Instead, I realize Raphael is just growing into his pain. All I can do, ultimately, is love them and let them find their own way through this.


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