It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. Nope. I still don’t believe it. No matter how many times I tell myself that it’s not my fault, I just can’t wrap my feeble brain around that fact that, in some small way, I didn’t do something to screw it up. I wasn’t enough. I did something wrong. I looked wrong. Said something incredibly stupid. I have been told it’s my fault for 21 years, so I automatically go there in my mind.
I will never call myself a strong woman. I’m just not. I’ve been in bed most of this week, getting out only when I had to. Just didn’t have the energy or drive to get up and do anything. Breathing was a chore. Hair in a ponytail. Just shorts and t-shirt. Avoided phone calls, texts, emails. It’s a miracle my kids made it to school wearing clean clothes and lunches packed. Not really. No matter how terribly I feel, I will always take care of them. They are my heartbeat. In fact, one day, I was laying here (yes, I’m back in bed) listening to the rain spattering against the window, and I looked up to see my little one standing by my bed. He’s a beautiful child. Obviously adopted. I could not make a child this gorgeous. Hair that shines like golden threads when kissed by the sun. Eyes the color of dew sprinkled blueberries. Perfect lips, so red and so wonderfully shaped, one would think they had been painted on by the hands of angels. He’s my little Romeo. This one “feels the feels”. He calls me Babe. Says he thinks it sounds like he loves me more if he calls me Babe instead of Mom. He’s under the age of nine. This kid. Anyways. I open my eyes and he’s standing there looking at me. “It’s raining, Babe.” “Yes, Boss.I can hear it on the window.”(Using my nickname for him.) “No, in your heart. I know it’s raining in your heart. And I’m here to bring you some sunshine. Scoot over!” And with that, this old soul bound up in the body of a young grade schooler climbed up beside me and we sang “our song” over and over and over until we were laughing so hard we were in danger of a bad case of “the sillies”.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Oh please don’t take my sunshine away. The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms. When I awakened, I was mistaken. Oh please don’t take my sunshine away. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Oh please don’t take my sunshine away.”
We take turns singing different parts, alternating words and phrases,I don’t even know if the lyrics are correct.(Apologies to The Rice Brothers Gang if we have butchered them.) He can even hold his own on the melody, allowing me to sing harmony with him. This happens only if he plugs his ears and looks away. “I can’t look at you, Babe!”, he giggles, “It messes me up!” If I had just a nickel for every belly laugh this little one has caused me, I would be the richest of them all.
But as I look at this wee boy, this angel in soccer shorts with a snaggle toothed grin,one chubby hand holding mine, head thrown back, singing at the top of his lungs, “You are my sunshine, my only sun shine….” I realize, I already am.