It is life
It is the way it works
The only child left
(DAMN YOU JAY, you checked out
Knowing you couldn’t handle this…)
The single grrl child
The new parent

Never birthed any children
Don’t know nuthin about birthing
Too selfish for that
Perhaps just too scared of doing it wrong
Alone now to figure it out
No pregnancy, no labor, no shower
No happy friends to wish me a great motherhood

But the children have emerged nevertheless
Amidst my anger & bitterness & helplessness & love
Yes, love
The duty, the responsibility – the love
The only gift I can give in exchange
For their love, their support, their security

I turn a corner & here we are – us three
None of us prepared, mostly in denial
Together in this part of the life cycle
I now know what it must have been like
Loving me
Making decisions that would impact my entire future
Not knowing how
Just guessing at everything
Just acting
Acting as one best can in each moment to love
And care for a child
A child who is not perfect
A child with a strong sense of independence & rebellion
My new children no different

Looking in their faces I see my face
Hearing them cry I hear my cries
The joy – the sadness
Grateful to have them
Sad that I can’t protect them from what is
The monsters in the night

I was raised on tough-love
I fight giving it back
I was raised on “rights” & “shoulds” & image at all cost
My heart doesn’t want to turn that back at them

Grown adult children – at the end of their dreams & hopes
Controlling still what was always uncontrollable – life
Fighting to walk & breathe & survive
Fighting alone & scared
Unable to communicate any of it

When is the beginning of the end?
We are at the beginning
I see it now
As vulnerable as they are – I am
I face into it so weak
I want to run & hide & deny & be the only child again
But it is my turn right now

The cycle revolves & it will be my turn again
But not now
And who – I wonder
Will be my parents the next time around?
Some stranger no doubt
Not for them though – never for them

They never thought their wild child would be their parent
They knew I would abandon them in their last childhood
I led them to believe that

But this is my gift of love
The unexpected gift
Pieces of them are me
Grateful that I understood before all I could do is regret
In their eyes I begin to see trust between all the fear
I love them more than I ever knew
I am here
Irregardless of all my selfishness
And all my intellectual plans

I am here to call & listen & love & support & love
And love & love & love some more
Gentle, kind, respectful
The days of their last childhood
As the days of my first childhood
Full of not knowing but surrounded by love

I owe them much
But I love them more