Revelate

1545753_10202722224353751_758472753_nSometimes I need a revelation

‘Cause sometimes it’s all too hard to take

Sometimes I need a revelation

This time I’m making my own now…

–        Glen Hansard

 

 

I posted a little something today called The Crazy Train, about how it feels to be in the process of creating a new life for yourself – a new sense of self for yourself.

 

It’s a little intense. And more than a little amazing.

 

In response, my friend Dario Martinez said this: It’s interesting that we use words such as “crazy” to describe states of consciousness in which there’s openness and deep connection to “what is.” Other states of consciousness such as “talking from a script” or unconsciously allowing our fears to run our lives are so commonplace in our culture that many of us experience these states of consciousness as being “normal.” I know I do …

 

Wow, I thought, he really gets it.

 

And then I went to pick up my kids, who had been on vacation for the week.

 

I had missed them so, I just wanted to breathe them in.

 

It was not always like this.

 

I used to feel like a feral animal around my children, so strangled was I by their overwhelming vulnerability and dependence on me. On me, too unconscious – and too busy numbing – to be able to take care of even myself.

 

What a beautiful thing, I thought, holding each child’s hand as we walked to breakfast, echoing Dario’s words, to be here so fully alive and connected to “what is.”

 

And so I embraced it.

 

And guess what happened?

 

My children reflected it back to me.

 

All feelings are mutual.

 

When we got out of the car, my little boy asked me – as he always does – for money to give to a homeless man in a wheelchair who is often parked in front of our breakfast spot.

 

Mom? my little guy said, can you give me a $20 bill? I’ll pay you back, but I want to give it to that guy. I feel terrible that he’s homeless and in a wheelchair.

 

It’s hard to see that, isn’t it? I said.

 

He nodded.  It’s really hard, he said. But I don’t feel that way about all homeless people, just some of them.

 

I, too, have a soft spot for this man in the wheelchair.

 

He kept going: Some of them I feel are homeless because it’s their own decision.

 

We sat down at breakfast.

 

(This is a child who, in recently watching the comedy “Elf” burst into tears when the dad character yelled “I never wanted you! Get out of here!” to Will Ferrell’s character, the son, the elf.

 

It’s just so mean for a daddy to say that to his son! he sobbed. How could a daddy say that?

 

My boy was only slightly embarrassed after he had pulled himself together, and I had pulled him onto my lap to soothe him.

 

[Fortunately, his sister was so shocked by his reaction (as was I), that teasing him never even occurred to her.]

 

I’m a sensitive kid, he said, as I wiped away his tears, assuring him that the movie daddy hadn’t meant it…)

 

We ordered our food, and I just bathed in the love of these children.

 

My too-cool-for-school daughter laid her head on my shoulder and kissed my face, my forehead, the tip of my nose.

 

I looked over at my little boy, and was startled by his beauty.

 

I have to capture this moment, I thought.

 

And so although the food was arriving at the table, I fumbled for my phone and made the waiter wait as I took this photo of my boy.

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(It doesn’t quite capture the sweetness of the chub under his chin, or the thin blue vein on his neck pulsing with life, but it’s a reasonable likeness of what I saw across the table from me.)

 

Mom? my little boy asked for my attention. I think my friend K’s parents aren’t ready to be parents.

 

Why do you say that? I asked, as it was an odd statement from a child.

 

Because they let him have a candy bar in his lunch every day and they put coffee in his thermos, he explained. And they let him play “M” rated video games.

 

What does that mean to you? I asked, curious.

 

That they don’t know what they’re doing as parents, he said. I kind of get jealous about the candy, but I worry that his parents don’t know how to take care of him.

 

My son is 8 years old.

 

I suddenly thought of my recent inability to see anything but the manifestation of pain on tight, plastic-surgery-induced reptilian faces.

 

Oh my god, I thought, my current heightened sense of awareness is how this child sees the world.

 

And, probably, it’s how I saw the world, too, as a child.

 

It’s probably how I saw the world until I figured out how to numb the feelings enough – to go unconscious enough – to make it bearable.

 

Wow, I said, you really see things, don’t you?

 

He nodded.

 

And then he stood and came to me.

 

And – I swear to god – he said this – this thing that I can barely write: You’re the person of my life, Mom. You’re like fudge to me. But when I was three I used to be afraid that when I went to sleep you were going to leave me. I was afraid to sleep alone, and I would wake up with nightmares just to make sure you were still there. That’s why I always wanted to sleep with my sister, so that in case you left me, she and I would still be together. 

 

A chill ran through me.

 

My boy was three when I split from his father and, while I never actually thought of leaving my kids – ever – I did question whether I could ever be the mother they deserved, because I certainly wasn’t then.

 

Baby, I pulled him to me and put my arms around him. Baby, I will never leave you. Never, ever, ever, ever. You are my life – you are all that matters to me. I can’t even think about a life without you.

 

He smiled.

 

Do you still worry that I might leave you? I asked.

 

A little, he whispered.

 

Well, I am so honored you told me this. Because this must be so hard for you to tell me.

 

He nodded, and I looked up at him.

 

But I promise you, I will never ever leave you. Ever. So you don’t have to worry anymore, okay? I want you to let go of that fear, okay – because that’s a big heavy thing for you to carry around. And you don’t have to.

 

Okay, he said and gave me a smile.

 

Here, I said, I know. Let’s take a picture of you. Let’s take a picture of you right now and the picture will be one of you knowing that your mama loves you and that she is never going to leave you. Ever. A picture of you letting go of that fear.

 

Okay! he said – he was totally in.

 

And that is how the photo at the top of this post was taken.

 

It is a photo of my son, no longer worried that he has a mother who would leave him as he slept in the night.

 

We looked at the photo before bedtime tonight.

 

What’s that picture of you mean to you? I asked him.

 

That you’re never going to leave me, he responded with a smile. Mama, I love that picture of me.

 

Yeah, I said, it’s pretty awesome.

 

And then he wanted to watch a quick video before bedtime.

 

We went on You Tube and he wanted to hear – What’s it called? he asked. It’s my favorite song by Glen Hansard and it starts with an “R.” Glen Hansard’s so cute! he added as we looked through the videos. He’s just so cute!Revelate.

 

Sometimes I need a revelation

‘Cause sometimes it’s all too hard to take

 

My little boy slipped his arm around me as we lay on the bed watching the video.

 

Sometimes I need a revelation

This time I’m making my own now…

 

What a gift this state of consciousness is – this state of awareness.

 

Of this life.

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