There’s something about the echoing emptiness, waking up in the morning and he’s not there. How I wish you had come in then, crawled into bed with me and just held me. How I wish you had shown me it was okay to fall apart.
And then how I wish you had left again.
You told me you could tell when I was annoyed with you. I never meant to be. We can’t control these things sometimes. But sometimes, yes—I just wanted you to cease to be.
Sometimes I needed the time and the space to stare off into the distance, or the corner where his crib would be. Sometimes I needed to sit with such stillness, and no expectations, and struggle to breathe.
I needed these things.
I needed these things, but how do I communicate this to you? How do I tell you I need you as a parent, and I also need your respect because I am one too?
How do I tell you that as much as I am broken, I am also brand new?
And I guess, more than anything, what I needed was for you to just know—in that wordless, compassionate, all-encompassing way I grew up yearning for.
The way I still yearn for, even today.