Killing Me Softly
Sometimes, they pummel it into a pile of barely beating crimson mush; soft and pulpy with the exquisite pain of loving another human being beyond all logic. It's fear and disappointment and regret and guilt and longing and dear God I can't be doing this right!
But sometimes....ohhhhh, sometimes, they break it wide open with the pure radiance of their loving you back, exposing the faithfully thumping core to drench the world with their tender, fledgling strength. Sometimes, they stun you with their capacity to love without condition and their understanding of things beyond their scope of experience.
My husband lost his job today.
We are not alone of course. Job loss is epidemic in America right now. Many are in the same boat. Many are in a much more quickly sinking one.
But we are a one income family, and now, that one income is gone. We have a mountain of responsibility and expectation on our shoulders. Atlas himself never carried such a load.
Those of you who have children know what I'm talking about.
It's beyond terrifying.
Shocked and reeling, Husband could not say the words to our boys. He could scarcely say them to me. I said I would do it and I did, but I didn't expect it to be so hard. I didn't expect the rush of panic that filled me as they looked at me silent and blinking. They were like baby seals stunned by a hunter's club; wide eyed and bewildered. They had no idea what to say or what to do.
Pubescent One spoke first.
"I can work Mom. Chick-Fil-A hires 14 year olds." he said earnestly.
"You and Dad can have all my birthday money." Diminutive One added.
Jesus that hurt. That hurt way down in a place that is rarely breached. But a sweeter pain I've never known, with the possible exception of the day each of them was dragged from my body naked and squalling; terrifying and wondrous in their fragile, perfect beauty.
Did I think I had to be strong for them? Well, sure, that's what Moms do. But I find that I am being bathed in their strength. Bolstered by their courage and selflessness.
Kids. They'll break your heart. Wide open.
We may lose our home, the cars, the posessions that brand us as respectable middle class people. But those are just things. Trappings.
I have my boys and I have my husband and we're going to be okay.