My baby would be 24 today. There are no words to describe how much I miss him, so I’m just crying it out — pretty much for the past week, but especially today. It seems weird, perhaps, but I need more time today to pause and just be here. But I dropped off the kids late at daycare because Au had a music lesson, and now it’s already 3pm and I need to pick them up soon, and all I’ve done is cry and talked to my mom a bit and cleaned about 1/63rd of the house.
It doesn’t matter what I’d hoped to do today, I guess. There are only so many hours, and as I’m realizing, grief has a weird way of making time flexible and erratic. So fast, sometimes. Other times, everything stops, even the clock.
I want the clock to stop right now, for about another 5-8 hours so I can clean the house, right down to the bones and make it sweet and fresh. I want to ride my bike to my path in the woods and haul my ass up that hill until my lungs burst. I want to fall down on the soft green growth and smell the wet earth, let the dog push his nose into my face & fog my glasses with his breath while he licks the tears off my face, even though it’s gross. I want to go home and take a long nap and dream of Noah. A sweet, vivid dream, one that makes me laugh and smile and cry all at the same time.
I want to tenderly build an altar around his photo. Light candles. Lay down flowers. Meditate. Breathe in and breathe out.
I want to bake a cake from scratch, and lovingly decorate it into a piece of sugared artwork that proclaims how soft and sweet and painstakingly patient is my steady love for my firstborn child. I want it to be fine and delicate and tall, and I want to slice it thickly and hand a slice to everyone I love and everyone who loved him.
I want balloons that don’t pollute, floating into the sky like candy-floss gossamer, melting into the white clouds during the day, orbs of light at night. I want them never to stop releasing into the sky. Also, bubbles. Shining, impossibly luminescent bubbles rising slowly and endlessly to heaven by the thousands.
But mostly, more than anything, I want to hug him again, feel his round soft baby cheek under my lips, touch his silky little boy curls, feel his wiry gangly awkward limbs as a teen, the surprising and suddenly so *big* strength as a young man. I want to feel that thrill in the pit of my belly when he calls or texts me out of the blue. The one that made me sheepishly laugh at how I felt like a 13-year old with a crush whenever my kid gave me the least bit of attention. No one prepared me for how weird it would feel to
parent an adult be totally ignored by my own kid.
But I don’t have a lot of time for fantasy.
Thirty more minutes, to be exact. Actually, I’m already late to pick the kids up from daycare by half an hour.
I wanted to buy birthday presents from Noah for the kids, so after dropping them off at daycare at 11:30 I drove up to College Heights where there is a small independent toy store. It seems like I can’t help crying any time I am alone, and so through my tears on the drive I tossed out a little wish to Noah to send me a sign. I don’t do that often, but sometimes I just need it so badly. To know he’s somewhere still here. Close. Or, I don’t know. Closer than gone completely.
I’m lucky to live in a place that’s still got some wilderness close by, and so wildlife sightings are not a completely rare thing, but a minute after throwing out that little wish, here comes rambling up across the road right in front of me this beautiful young black bear. I slowed right down and watched him lumber across the road. I did not do something totally illegal like grab my phone to take a video. No regrets. If I had, it might have looked something like below.
Thank you so much for this little gift, my boy. Thanks for always being with me. I will love you and miss you always.