I had some time alone at home and was spending it catching up. I hurried through Miles’ room with an empty laundry basket bumping my leg as I walked. I bent to throw the dirty clothes from the floor to the basket and was hit with his smell like a bump to the head. It stunned me with its goodness and I was surprised to miss him even though he’d just left. I was there with his smell, one that’s all boy and just this boy, my boy, all heavy with earth and fresh air and his hair. Oh, that hair that grows to a thick and careless mop and then transforms to a short faux hawk per his request because it looks cool, he says.
Either way is fine with me, I think, as long as it keeps its smell.
And then I’m hit with the next waft of him, something dirty and messy but mixing itself up to not stink. Like life.
Later, on his small bed, I hold the boy with his smells across my lap like a baby. With my back to the wall and not a sip of wine in me, I rock him back and forth and make up a story about a superhero boy just like him. No jumbled words and fuzzy mind make it messy, it’s just Mama and Miles on the bed at night. His big blue eyes with brows like his Daddy look up at me with the intensity of listening for the part about a resuce, and with a lump in my throat I think, I want him to remember this moment.
Me, being a safe place.
Because of sobriety, more than ever before, life is about these moments and not days or weeks or months and especially not years. There is no other choice but moment by moment or the heaviness is crazy-making. Some of these moments are terribly hard, full of craving and regret, and they are merely survived and slowly felt, but no longer skipped or numbed. This way, they can be healed.
So now I’m standing around with laundry baskets and thinking, what would we do without these brilliant moments of respite, of stillness piled high with good things like birds or scents or humor? What would we do?
In the middle of this thing called recovery, while I’m facing thoughts that bring feelings that bring pain, these moments kick up joy and they are like a superhero story complete with rescuing. These moments are the reason I will look back on this part of my life and see that somehow, I was safe.