A woman not unlike many before and after her. Seeking. For love, for purpose, for passion, but mostly for love. You expected yourself to be stronger. You expected to be wiser, to see a different person in the mirror every morning. But then there you are, abused and tangibly pleading. To love enough. To be patient enough. To withstand enough. You would fix it all just to stay and be enough, to have what you had hoped for and bargained with yourself was true. But then there you are. That woman in the mirror you weren’t expecting to see, and there he is. Your boy.
So you gather yourself, a shell of a woman shattered against instability and chaos and you seek seek seek. And the boy becomes just another piece of you tossed to and fro in the wake of your life. You can only meet his upturned eyes when you press upon the lies and heavy, leaning into them until you’re upright and you tell yourself you’re doing your best for him. And maybe you are doing your best. But he is still your collateral damage, quickly morphing into the wrecking ball you get to pretend is not your consequence. The boy changes before your eyes and you don’t see who he is, a reflection of you, a seeker. He remains tethered to your search for love, and now an additional stability you didn’t know you needed until the lack of it broke you. It broke him before he even knew what it was.
Stability found the wrecking ball boy too late and too hard; consistency isn’t always the dream we have of it. The bruises consistency left on him carried through to his soul, black and blue and vengeful. And still you let him take the blame for a life grown from the seeds you planted, a seekers lonely life and woman’s desire to be loved. A love her son cannot fulfill but a love she allows him to pay the cost for. The price became a vast space, a channel between a mother and her son and as you threw sharp stones of consistency into this channel, cutting him down with a life you wanted him to be grateful for, a life he could never be safe in, he threw in more wounded- an array of people he couldn’t love, another reflection of your damage. Weapons you would use against him and evidence, you would tell yourself, that he was not your fault.
You didn’t see the barriers he was creating by replicating a damaged life. As you pulled your boy in closer to nurse him, to cradle him, to use him like only a mother can use a child, you didn’t see the ways he had tried to barricade you. With the damage of a wrecking ball he distracted you with chaos. Allowing you to recognize yourself in the wounded, and recognize in younger eyes a man who left you with this boy. As you ventured from the torture of being someone you hadn’t prepared to be, trying to be healed of disappointment in yourself you began to berate that old man in this new one. Reminding your son that his father was no hero. He was not a man to be idolized. He was simply a man whom you foolishly loved in your youth. But your boy saw, like only one whose survival relies on their ability to read others, that even you idolized that youthful love.
So he too began a quest for a passion he could drown in. Someone to adore and not be able to explain why, a wordless fervor and a quest to be a man. The journey that has no true finish line, no medal to show him where he started and how far he’d come. So girl after girl became woman after woman became a sea of faces and hearts dismembered and torn apart. And in the hustle he found a god he could call on and plead to and pretend he was not still just a lost boy born of a selfish woman. When he did good you remembered your pride and took credit for his attributes, for taking him to church and loving him like you knew what he needed. He asked for weightlessness and you gave him gravity. He needed tenderness and you showed him a world that bears down hard. He outgrew you and remained a gentle boy, calloused as he was. And when his calloused places showed up you pretended to not understand why. Who is this man? And you busied your life with distractions.
Awareness and regret fill the space between mother and son. A man a mother will never have and a boy she cannot keep. And when this boy found his new self, a man with a wrecking ball past, he places one foot in front of the other; the only path left unburned is forward. He sees his mother’s face in so many woman, seekers of love, owners of lonely hearts and like gravity he has been pulled toward them, knowing what they want, offering what they seek. But only for moments. Moments and moments of passionate memories. Seeking more than moments this son cleaves hard from his mother’s face, leaving what he knows how to navigate for a world he cannot own. He seeks vulnerability and exposure as one who knows fear but is tired of it’s course. Fear is but a wrecking ball, destroying all possibility of rejection, all possibility of pain. All possibility.