Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I want to run...

"Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa..." two-year-old Lucas chants from the back seat of my car. He's dropped his water cup and my inability to "get it for me!" has resulted in this grating pretend baby-crying repeated incessantly.

I turn up the volume on the stereo and laugh when I hear this cover song coming on form this 90's Pet Shop Boys disc I found in my parent's basement.

"I want to run, I want to hide. I want to break down the walls that hold me inside."

"What you doing?" he yells from the back.
"I'm listening to some music."
"I don't like some music," he opines. "Get my water!"
"I can't reach it."
"You have to!" he orders over the music.
I turn it louder.

"I want to feel the sun on my face, I see the dust cloud disappear without a trace..."

"Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa..."

I start singing along to drown him out, "... where the streets have no name, where the streets have no name."

There are moments I long for escape. There's no destination I'd rather be, really, then here in this family, in this job, in this place in my life I've created. But there are many moments when I wish Star Trek transporters existed which could instantly put me elsewhere. I glimpse a Mexican beach, high tea at a fancy hotel, a cluttered and musty old desk where I could write and write. Really, I glimpse my life... before, B.C. (before children).

But when I look back, despite my initial jealousy at the freedom and lack of responsibility I had (and didn't know I had), I know now I was missing something. Not to be cliche and talk about how my son has filled the void in my life. In fact, my son has made my life complicated and draining and very very full.

I think that's because he pushes me. He pushes me, not only with his constant demands and insatiable desire to know everything, but bigger than that. He pushes me to be honest with myself, in order to parent authentically. The demons I've pushed deep down inside get released with my sleep deprived and emotionally aggravated states. They're also revealed in the words he parrots back to me, the actions that I mine and his personality that has my DNA stamped all over it. He pushes me to make choices because I can't have it all or do it all anymore, though I damn well try harder to now. And though he'll cling to my leg as I'm dropping him off at daycare, I know I'm doing what's best for both of us by allowing us daily activity that will energize and challenge each of us versus us challenging each other all day long. He pushes me to own my own identity so I don't get sucked into his. The strength of his spirit shines through in every frustrating interaction, but it reminds me of my own inner strength.

"So let me love you, baby, let me love you."

He continues to "wa-wa-wa" and at the stop light, I reach back and try and get his water cup. "Sorry, bud, I can't find it. Can you wait til we get home?"

"Yeah," he says. "Can I open the garage door? Not the big garage door, but the little garage door?"

"Of course."

I don't want to run anymore. I want to hold him tight and never let him go. I want to hold his hand and run with him for as long as he'll let me. Because there are moments when I remember, with a shock, that we are probably closer than we'll ever be right now, that Mommy only stays on a pedestal for so long, and that, at some point, it will be him dreaming of escape from me more often than not.

"I'll show you a place, high on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name."

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