Oh little boy! I heard your sweet voice again. It went through me like a bolt to my heart – hearing you again when you were five – maybe – or six? Your innocence and the confidence you had in me was so assuring, when really I was in such deep pain so often.
The times I wasn’t were spent exploring, playing, laughing, reading, learning, painting, walking, singing, and talking with you.
Oh you loved to talk – and sing. When you were playing with your toys you’d sing to accompany your play, and why I never recorded it I’ll never know because nearly everyone’s child is time-stamped forever these days.
Your young life is mostly in my memory, with a recorded voice here and there, or a birthday party on video.
I wish I had what I needed then. I wish I were the parent you deserved instead of the parent you got – even though I tried my best.
Maybe every parent fails. Maybe we fall short of our ideals, but I screamed at stupid, stupid shit. I was a fucking harpy who should have had her voice removed as punishment.
Now that my services are no longer required (or needed), our relationship is better. I don’t fly off the handle like I used to – I don’t take my hell out on you.
I never beat you, and I did my best to not demean, but my yelling was a form of demeaning – the accusatory tone of spilled drinks on new clothing – as though it was done on purpose. Can you forgive me for the horror I was, for making you feel small and stupid? I told you it was me not you, but did you understand that? It’s doubtful. You saw what I was, not what I said.
I’m so sorry. I know apology is kind of useless, but it’s all I have. I can’t fly through time and change, but I would if I could.
I did and do love you with all my heart, but I was broken, and had no business trying to raise you. I did better than what was done to me, but not good enough.
You were a beautiful, perfect child. You brought joy where there was so little, and my job was to honor and protect you, and give you skills to navigate the larger world.
I understand and accept if you cannot forgive me, but I ask you to anyway. I hope you can remember the love and goodness there was.
You deserved better, but you are amazing, strong, beautiful, and lovely in spite of my lack. You are smart, open, inquisitive, active, and interested in life, and I’m so grateful you are resilient.
Reading books, and rubbing your back, and singing you to sleep was our nighttime sanctuary, and it was time well-spent – a better job at parenting.
I provided necessities and structure too, and gave you choices, and did what I could to foster your autonomy – but my horrifying yelling and screaming muscles into all that was good, muddying and distorting any calm.
Please forgive me.
Just please know I’m profoundly sorry for the pain I caused, and I loved you with all I had to give.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current