anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

A Fortress for Two

There are some days--such as yesterday, and a brief moment this morning--when I find myself in a state of disbelief. For the past four months and 17 days, my days have seemed to drift away and come at me with an unbearable ferocity all at once: the repetitiveness of taking care of a baby lulls me into a sense of surrealism, whilst the demanding nature of what is now my full-time job leaves me exhausted, drained, such that it takes effort to even engage intellectually, let alone summon up the energy for self-reflection.

But there are moments--such as yesterday, such as this morning--when some light breaks through the dense fog of domesticity, and I am able to hover above the fog, look down at the fortress that I have constructed: a fortress of he and I, of nursing, sitting in the same spot for too long; a pair of unrecognisable breasts; sleep deprivation; diaper changes; and sweet, innocent smiles, his high-pitched peal of laughter, the warmth of my love for him smoothing over the exhaustion, frustration, boredom.

What do I see? I see my life on pause. I see a woman once hopelessly lost, now anchored, somewhat, to something--someone--more important than her frustrated, nebulous ambitions. But I see an unreality, too; or rather, the truth that I can't do only this for the rest of my life. An earnest attempt to meet other mothers, manifested in my downloading the app for just that and creating an account, went nowhere; I realised that, quite frankly, I'm simply not that interested. My new identity as a mother is merely a part of me: foisted upon me by accident, but which I embrace because it gives me a sense of purpose. Yet, it is not all that I am, and it cannot be all that I am. In my moments of clarity, sometimes tinged with resentment at the intellectual poverty of the last few months, I know that the pause button has to be lifted at some point.

This is a fortress, too. I have birthed him into existence; now I fear, as much as look forward to, the person whom he will become. I have been reading about sons who are violent, sons who murder: the River Valley High murder, Elliot Rodgers, a BBC article about young sons who physically abuse their mothers. I read about these stories and I feel the heartbreak that these mothers must feel; I imagine it happening to myself and my first response is regret. I think I would rather have a murdered child than a murderer for a child; at least I would be able to hold on to my memories of him.

And so it is a fortress because the world is a vicious place, and I wish he could retain this innocence forever, and I fear even the slightest misstep that would turn him against all that is good and moral. But he can't stay in here forever. One day, he will find his way out--and all I can do is to guide him, teach him and love him to the best of my ability.
Tags: motherhood, personal, shrimpy

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