There are days, more numerous than I would ever like to admit, that are spent rehearsing my failures. I number and name every crack that splices through the walls of this house, they abound and multiply. So much of life seems to seep through.
Last night I sunk into your bed beside you with a sigh. A slow and quiet breath of protest against this pressure building- the constant and nagging lie that the things left undone somehow define my womanhood, my motherhood.
My bones sink like quicksand when you begin to trace the lines of my face, the shape of a tender and beating heart in my chest. In the dark you find your way to me.
I love you, mom, you say. But what I hear is: I love you, and I forgive you, and you are always enough.
I want to take your photo, but you resist. So instead I sit on the rocky beach, close my eyes and lean into the warm arm of the sun. I am thinking about how many times we’ve been here. I wonder how old you were the first moment you dipped your toes into the river silt and sand? When we are here, we’re at home. The mountains watch us our whole lives through.
I remember packing you on my back and tossing rocks against the current. Maybe you were three or four months old. And before that, when I was first pregnant with you, I remember walking this beach. I’m sure I day dreamed of you. And here I am, 11 years later, still dreaming of you.
When I open my eyes you’ve thrown off your shirt and are parading the treasures you have scavenged. You are grinning at me, and I know that means that you have welcomed me to lift my lens and remember you, in this moment, boldly flying your flag.