I dream of the first time my baby son wonders at the mud. He'll point and with his sweet innocent face ask me what it is. And rather than scolding him for touching it, roughly wiping his fingers, I'll coax him to touch it, feel its texture, learn its ways. I'll sit on the muddy floor and play with him until dusk. Our neighbors will stare, wonder, and chuckle, but never judge, for my community accepts my ways. And when my daughter is going on her first date, I'll help her with her makeup, play the corny music that I did as a teenager, bejewel with my cooky home-made jewelry. Mint tea will calm her nervous stomache. I'll let her free to be the beautiful, smiling, laughing girl she is, and let someone love her for the same reasons I do. There's no daddy in our humble apartment in San Francisco. No man to judge and sulk and say "no". Being the tough mother that I am, it is I who finds the flashlight when the electricity goes out. We'll sit by the window and trade scary stories, share secrets, play footsies under the blanket. And on those dark gloomy days when Mommy remembers her pain and agony as a teenager, they'll hold me close, with their heads against my chest, my chin resting against my son's head with his soft fragrant hair. We sit and watch the rain that reminds Mommy of all that she's left behind. I'll teach them everything; hopscotch, jump-rope, and I'll tell them all about my heroine, Queen Elizabeth. When it comes to sex, I'll play them an enlightening puppet show, so that they won't have to be sacred by their friend's untruthful tales of how babies are made. And when we get into fights, which I know we will, we'll scream at each other, become enraged, then right in the middle of it all, burst out laughing at the other's flaming read face. Saturday at dawn = yoga. They pretend to be exasperated at my lemon yellow sweatpants, but behind my back they giggle at their crazy mother's characteristic apparel. And when it comes time to let them go, I'll cry, cry, and cry, but I'll let them go, knowing that I tried my best to teach them how to fly. And when I'm gone, they'll wear bright yellow sweatpants to my funeral, and tell everyone, "That's what Mommy taught me."
October 16, 2008