the mommy you want to bepublished: 2012-08-13
“You have to understand how tired I am,” I tell him, “really, very tired. I wish it to be otherwise. Some people can handle only a few hours of sleep, I -unfortunately- can’t.”
He looks at me, teary-eyed. His eyes droop when he looks at me that way. Not only when he’s about to cry, also when he’s thinking. Big, blue, droopy eyes. To be clear I add, “it’s not your fault that I’m bad with too little sleep, it’s mine. But when you sleep in my bed, you twist and turn and I can’t sleep. And then I get grumpy, and angry and I’m a no-fun mommy. You understand? You want a fun mommy as much as I do, don’t you? So let’s both help make sure I’m a fun mommy, okay?”
He blinks and there it is, the sob. Now his eyes are tightly closed, his lips pursed together. He has ruby-red lips. Big, fat tears roll down his cheeks. He is almost purple.
“But mummy I always get to sleep in dad’s bed. Always! Every night. I want to go to daaaa-aaad. I’m never allowed anything with you.” Big, deep, heartbreaking sobs.
“Come here for a second,” I say and he comes to sit on my lap. He still fits there, all curled up.
“You’ve never told me why it is you don’t want to sleep in your own bed?”
“Because I came from inside you and you and I should be connected, that’s the way things should be.”
Sometimes, my 6-yr-old scares me.
I sniff his hair and want to be strict and firm. That’s what everyone says I should be. And I’m about to be, truly I am. But then I remember. I remember dark hallways and quiet nights. I remember that empty feeling. I remember tiptoeing on bare feet towards the door, their door, my parents’ closed door. I remember hesitating to open it, but the fear of being alone was greater and so I would, I would open it, with my heart thumping in my chest. I remember sometimes there were cockroaches in the hallway, lots of them. And that even the cockroaches wouldn’t stop me. I hated cockroaches.
Sleep in my bed then, my little boy. I will be tired, I will be grumpy. And so I won’t be the mommy I want to be by day. But at least I will be at night.