A letter to my son
By Mama in the Middle on October 22, 2012
Long before you were born there was a park that I liked to go to on Sunday mornings when I got off of work.
I went there other times too, and in my memory Judah was with me, though that is impossible, she wasn't born yet either.
It was a park far on the eastern edge of Tucson. Agua Caliente park. It means hot water, and honestly I think it was the only park with a pond in the area.
I worked the graveyard shift at Juvenile hall, talking all night to kids who had been arrested. It was emotionally gruelling.
It was 1999, so I was 26 going on 27 and I always felt so bad for the kids who had been through so much. I was drained by my final night (saturday) and would pick up a Sunday paper on my way to the park.
Then I would sit. I would feel the sun rising, heating the world and invigorating my soul....I never felt more ALIVE than I did those first years in Tucson.
I would meditate in the park, the best I knew how. I didn't understand then, the idea of clearing your mind of everything. I had never heard of that concept, so I would, instead, try to fill my mind with as much beauty as I could grab in the few, brief, moments before I had to rest.
I remember soaking in the grass, memorizing every aspect and curvature of the mountains around me, wallowing in the peace of the morning and trying to wash the horrible knowledge from my mind.
I was changing then, learning that the world is not even as safe as I had pretended. Learning that I wasn't alone in my aloneness, it's a human condition.
It was a rough time, and those mornings in the park stand out in my memory as beacons of peace. Little nuggets in a long life.
I pull them out now and enjoy them again as I go through the chaos of what is happening now.
If I could go back to that time, 12 years ago...would I?
In some ways, yes. I would go back and cling to my innocence rather than bare my soul to the universe as I did. I would go back and understand the source of my confidence and carry it with me, rather than seeking it in others.
But, no. I would rather take the long roads that I have travelled, because they bring me you.
A son. Not just any son, but you. There could be no substitute. I am in love with you and these long roads have especially prepared me to mother YOU as a nurturer, guardian and friend.
Maybe someday, son, we can go to Tucson, and I can share a sunrise with you at the hot water.
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