So, today I was cleaning and sorting and moving furniture around when I came across a small Spiderman shirt.
Immediately, I began feeling things I wouldn’t know how to describe. My heart squeezed and a lump went in my throat, it was my son’s shirt from about twenty years ago.
There’s much I regret. I once, for many years, claimed I never would regret a thing, for all I would regret has made me into the woman I am today—but I have a different thought today. I carefully took the shirt out from it’s place, as if it was from the days of Egyptian Pharaohs, afraid the fabric would disintegrate, and I held it up to breathe it all in. I smelled the still soft fabric as it felt cool to the touch, and in some ways delicate; it smelled fresh as if it was just washed yesterday.
The feeling, the coolness, the softness, the freshness, it all took me way back, some twenty years ago. I very much remember that shirt. My eldest was only three and a half or four at the time, and I must have been twenty four—the age he is today. As I type this here I am getting choked up. Tears are running down my face and I tell myself it is just a memory and why does it cause me sadness or pain? Well, I clearly answer myself back saying there are things I will never quite understand. The twin in me challenges to try. So, I take on the challenge.
I think about the pain I’m feeling. I’m attempting to reflect upon it as if I was there now, twenty years ago. He’s come home, my son, so happy and proud, excited to show me what he has done at school. I am smiling, I adore this little boy. I hug him and tell him how cool I think it is. He wears it for days and days. He one day outgrows it so I put it away for him, for safekeeping so that one day he may show it to his children.
This little boy grows up and is now a man. I am left feeling regret. “What regret?” I ask myself. I wish I wouldn’t have been so messed up in my twenties. I wish I wouldn’t have had my stupid depression, which did nothing for nobody. Such a waste of time. I’m sitting here feeling angry, rebellious—because that depression came from my parents. I wish I would have taken him more places like the crater in Arizona, the great Redwoods and Yosemite. I wish we would have gone to see the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Mount Rushmore, Mall of America, etc. I think back on how I believed he was so special. Such a sweet boy with so much potential. I think of all the things we could have done, the places we could have explored, but it’s all useless because I do remember playing with him lots, reading and talking and joking and laughing; kissing and hugs. It finally dawns on me—the answer to how I could have made this little boy’s life so much better—I wish I could have loved myself.
I realize that is where I went wrong and hence, my pain. I wish I would have loved myself so much that it would have poured on to him like a silk blanket. I wish I would have known love and introduced it to him. The only love I knew was that which I felt for him, but I’ve been so ignorant for the love he’s always needed was the one I couldn’t give to myself. That’s the kind of love which would have made him believe in whom he is to become.