The last week of 2011 was by far the best of the entire fucking horrible ass shitty year.
Hawk was on vacation from school. And, it was my custodial week.Being a mother is a surreal, magical thing. You grow a human being inside of you, then, if you're lucky enough, you're solely responsible for this tiny creature's very survival for months on end, possibly even years, before he enters the world outside your front door.
The bond of being relied upon for nurturing and nourishing courses through our veins so deeply we can feel the loam lapping at our primordial selves. It's that intense. That real. That big of a damn deal.
I was ready to enroll Hawk in pre-school earlier this year on many levels, but due to the extenuating circumstances the separation from him hobbled me. I staggered around like a bombing victim with missing limbs for months. I'm not proud of it. But it happened.
I went from being with my son 100% of his life, down to about 85%, to 50%. In about 3 months. (Plus all that other horrible shit such as the end of my marriage, etc., etc.)
Eventually, I got a groove down; snuggled in with him whenever we were together and tried to hold it together whenever we were not. It became ok. Now it's better. And that last week in '11 was like a sweet caress to my heart. We were back to normal.
(Again, my shrink would object to that statement. But, again, fuck it.)
With the exception of one night where he stayed with my mom because of my volunteer schedule we spent every waking moment together. I got us out of the house every day, we did fun little projects, we played games, I read to him until his cheeks flushed with sleep and he began to drool. We talked. We reconnected. We loved. We played.
It just felt right.
The highlight of our time together had to have been how I spent New Year's Eve: with the one person I'd die for.
Earlier in the night I'd decided I'd take him to Red Lobster (I don't know why this was so funny to me, but it was). He eagerly asked, "Can I have crab legs??" Um. OK. You know what crab legs are? I thought. So, yeah, he got his crab legs and then we went home. I opened a bottle of champagne and sipped it until the ball dropped. I lit a fire, Hawk, in his fuzzy, footed-pajamas cuddled with me as we listened to June Christy serenade us and we just were.
Around 9:30 he asked if he could put his feet up on my lap. I said, "Sure." Five minutes later he was breathing deeply, fast asleep. I let him lay there until 10, basking in the brilliance of him at my side and peace in my heart.
You might be thinking: Shit, Jess, get it together. Move on. Your life is different now! And, well, you'd be right about that. But to be able to have a slice of my old life with my son back, that was heaven. It meant more to me than possibly anything else for the past 12 months; to be reminded of who I am in this world and what I'm capable of.
Being apart from him for such a large portion of the day and not having a 9 hour gig to consume my time preys on my psyche. I do my best to keep busy, look for work, build my professional network and skills, but it's still not enough. Simply put, it's not how I'm wired. I need even more.
And I'll be the first to admit that maybe that "more" is time. Maybe I just need more time to heal and bounce back from the erosion of my marriage and former life. I can do that much. I'm always telling my clients to cut themselves some slack, to give themselves permission to feel what it is they're feeling, to be kind.
So, here's to 2012 and all its promises. It can only get better. And I'll be the one looking for the little slices of heaven and saying nice things to myself.