We are on our way to meet your dad and it is a trek. We've done all the prep: schedules and social stories for John and long talks about our feelings and careful treading through the what-ifs of divorce.
("What if you see each other again and fall back in love? Those what-ifs, the ones that live large in your heart when you're a child of eight, when your dreams are full of them. I know.)
You are excited.
And nervous too.
This morning you bound out of bed in your clothes, smiles on your sweet faces. It is easy getting out the door.
But on the way, John, you start to yell and I know something is not quite right. You ask for the bathroom so we head there and I am surprised when you pull me instead to a seat and hug me. I stroke your hair. "John, are you excited to see Daddy? Yes or no?" Yes, you say. "Are you sad too? Yes or no." Yes.
I tell you I will call you and you can call me. "Yes or no?" Yes, you say.
We sit there for a time and then you softly sing, my for-so-long non-verbal boy, I love you, you love me, we're best friends as friends can be... I stop breathing for a moment, listening to all that lives inside you come rise to the surface.
* * *
We say goodbye on the cold concrete. I hold your faces and kiss
your cheeks, press each of you to my heart and say goodbye. I tell
you to have a great time, I'll see you next week.
You are there,
I am here.
My love for you lives in the spaces between
us. It travels down Route 95 and knocks on your window. Are you awake too?
I am not me without you, I am this new me. We're still getting to know each other.