Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stay With Me

The past couple days I've felt as if I'm moving through a mental mass of molasses. With slow synapses and a foggy head, I've pushed through my recent days. Nothing bad, or serious, just a let down of sorts. A sadness accompanied this mental haze, one which I could not define or corner. So I decided to just sit with it.

As I prepared to leave the kids with their adored babysitter, Henry walked up to me, wringing his hands.


"Yes Henry?"

"Mommy? Mommy, are you weaving now?"
(Brow now furrowed over worried eyes, hands wringing rapidly, white-blond tresses falling into his brilliant blues.)

"Yes, babe."

"Oh. Mommy?"

"Yes H?"

(Now hugging me...) "Please don't go."

But I did. I left. And I drove. I love the solidarity and peace of being in my car by myself. I submerged in the hauntingly beautiful, powerful lyrics of Pearl Jam's Just Breathe. It's one of those songs that takes my hand and seems to know exactly where to lead me. Each time I listen, it's about someone else. Some days it's Hubby, others it's my mom, or the kids. Yesterday, it grabbed my jugular. It was about Henry.

Just as Vedder sang, Stay with're all I see...., I passed a soccer field filled with young, male teenagers. Shirts off, they proudly displayed their newly acquired muscles and body hair, bold against the vibrant green of the field. I'll bet those young men barely deposited absent-minded kisses on their mothers' cheeks before escaping in a testosterone-filled cloud.

My tears collect and start to fall.

The ricochet of emotion shook me. Stay with me....You're all I many moments before Henry barely notices that I'm gone? The tangled pull between my needs and my children's needs still waxes and wanes, dances through my days. I'm not doing it right. I'm failing them. They're driving me crazy--the endless questions and talking and physical demands exhaust me. Am I enjoying it way I should? Are these the moments I must embrace, no matter how taxing? When the dance ends....our lives will be juxtapositioned and flopped. It will be they who want to, need to go.

Did I say that I need you?

I realize, once again, that I fear that I will get to that inescapable end, with college-bound boxes and milk crates piled high, with that once sweet round boy who hung on my leg now angular and antsy for his parents to leave. That I will arrive in that moment and ask, plead, beg for a do-over knowing full well that the gentle, yet inevitable, answer must be No.

I imagine after hours of unloading carefully selected college necessities, we'll hug and begin our goodbye.
I'll beg, Stay with're all I see.... and my pores will bleed and my heart will severe and he'll start to walk into his dorm building. Reading my mental telepathy, he'll look back, blond hair falling into his brilliant blues, smile and maybe wave, and then walk into his new life. And I will finally understand, with every pore, that every chapter, of every life, must end.

Pearl Jam--Just Breathe
Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw-huh,..
Oh I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..

Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they've got none, huh-uh

Stay with me,..
Let's just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
never gonna let me win, aw-huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw-huh,..
Yeh, I don't wanna hurt, there's so much in this world
to make me bleed.

Stay with me,..
You're all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't I'm a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw-huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave...

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn't I'm a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean, ah-ah...

Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.


Lindsey said...

One of my very favorite songs ... I listen to it on repeat. Makes me cry. As does this post. xox

Denise said...

I am like a teenager with this song--listened on repeat yesterday for an embarrassing number of times.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, hmm. I'm nodding. Nodding because I understand every word. And I cry whenever I see something change, something about my own boys grow just a bit older. I'm trying to teach myself to embrace it too though, to derive joy from their accomplishments, and to hope that in some way they will always need me.

Corinne said...

That song does it to me every single time. The first time I heard it I was on the way to get Lucas (my husband) at the hospital because he took himself to the ER with chest pains... he was totally fine, and it was more an ache than the heart attack kind of pain... but still. It freaked me out. And that song made me bawl my eyes out.
Beautiful post Denise...

Shawna said...

This made me cry. I have my brown-eyed boy starting College in two weeks while my 10 year old daughter has suddenly become this tall gorgeous 16 year old and my "baby" is the big man finishing Elementary school this year. When did this happen?

Lauren said...

Oh D, what a great post!!! I am listening to the song right now crying for my brother. This song and your words totally resonate with me. Miss you, my friend.

emma said...

That mental mass of molasses... I'm there too. And I love getting in my car and listening to music to clear my thoughts, though I know I need to stop and breathe when I've driven in circles, changing my mind regarding direction at every block. It's too unnerving when my driving pattern reflects the chaos of my thoughts. I love that, without that driving, you may not have reached the emotions as you did. The emotions are beautiful, they propel us through the fear.

By Word of Mouth said...

What a beautiful moving post - not a week goes by that I don't wonder at a chance of doing more, enjoying more, stopping and just being more ....

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

Now it's my turn to cry. There is death to make our life come alive. Little tiny deaths in our moments that help us wake up. I don't really understand it, and sometimes I fight it, but in truth, there is a loveliness there. When I surrender to it, ahhh.

You have found this.

My son is the age of your imagining. He is 14. Finding his muscles, kissing me then off to find the world of adventure. He is indeed hairy (and this is beyond bizarre). The soccer field is when my tears began. And my son doesn't even play soccer.

You've found that way to borrow from the future to plant you firmly in the present. I think this is what saves us sometimes, don't you? Death helps me wake up.

Your song took me to my brother who died some years ago. Just breathing with him was relaxing. He's one of those people that plays, even when working. His life infuses mine even after he left planet earth. There are hellos in our goodbyes.

And goodbyes remind me to say hello to each day with more wakefulness.

Thank you for sending this to me. It's timely.