I guess you have to, because if you set it always in the forefront of your mind you will be frozen. It’s so big. It’s so much. Just what these kids have done, come from their first family to be woven into yours…it’s so much. And so, when they have carved out that spot in your heart of hearts, that fierce love for them has gripped you…you forget. You forget sometimes, what they call that “primal wound.” They might forget, for a while, too. Or not really realize or understand it if they are so young. Not yet. But its there.
The other night, Gabey had crawled into my bed. We all were sleeping but he started fussing in a dream. He whimpered. Turned over. Then, sleep-shouted clearly and loudly, “Don’t leave me!“
Instantly wide awake, my breath taken.
He has never, ever, said that. Not awake, not asleep. He does say “I want to go with you!” And with ferocious toddler power, “That’s MY mommy!” But he has not said this. And he has not said this with that angry hurt sad deep cry.
And I wondered, was he just dreaming of the comings and goings in our busy house? I don’t think so. This had a different quality. Not only because it was 2 a.m. But it was more.
I know it, I heard it, I felt it.
This was his hurt.
My boy’s hurt.
His mom died. He was taken to the orphanage at eleven months. He was left.
It is primal.
And so I snuggled in close to him. I whispered, “I’m here.” And then, “I’ll never leave you.” He relaxed back into sleep. And I lay awake, picking up the shattered bits of my heart.