Bejewell on July 12th, 2009

We brought the Bean to the mall today, because it’s a million degrees outside and we’ve already been to all the indoor playscapes a million times and the Bean’s got a million jigawatts’ worth of energy coursing through his veins and the mall’s nice and cool and easy.

Somewhere between Sears and Macy’s, there’s a small area sectioned off for little kids to play – not a playscape, really, just a kind-of-open house with a small slide and a couple of racecar-like structures to sit in.  Nothing moves, nothing interacts – except the kids.

The Big Bean hits the nearest kiosk to haggle prices on a trail watch he’s had his eye on, so I walk the Bean over to the small play area, point him in the direction of the other kids, and take my place among the other parents on a nearby bench to supervise.

There are plenty of other boys and girls there, so the Bean’s in his element – chasing, running, laughing, flirting, jumping – JOYFUL.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch, it always is.  My heart absolutely OVERFLOWS as I watch him play.  I mean, really, I could just BUST with pride and joy and love and dedication and protectiveness and awe.

But then he falls down, the result of a backwards slide gone wrong, and the laughter comes to an abrupt halt as he absorbs what just happened.  Another mom is closer to him than I am, and she rushes over to make sure he’s okay.  But as she approaches, he recoils, looking around desperately for the only thing he really wants.  The only thing that can really make him feel better.  Me.

He finds me in the crowd of parents and stands up and runs my way as fast as he can, throws himself into my arms, and cries in the sweetest, most despairing voice I’ve ever heard – “Mama! Mama! I feh down!”

I wrap my arms around him and hold tight, stroking his back and assuring him that everything will be okay, and in that moment, that one, tiny moment , the confused, depressed, whiny, insecure little girl I’ve been for these past few months is suddenly gone – nowhere to be found.  In her place stands a towering, strong, focused, sensible, independent, LIGHT presence that I can’t see, but I can FEEL — looking down at me, not so much judging as concerned, asking pointedly…

“What the hell have you been DOING?”

And I really have no answer.  I don’t KNOW what I’ve been doing. 

I’ve been so wrapped up in ME ME ME.  I Need.  I Want. I’M confused.  What is wrong with ME? What about ME?

And a certain amount of that is justified… I mean, we’re all entitled to be a little selfish every now and then – right?  It’s okay to be dissatisfied and wish for more sometimes.  If we DIDN’T focus on the things we don’t have, we’d never actually get them. 

But to let it take over your life, to let it take the focus away from the things that are really important…

I just don’t know WHAT I’ve been doing.

As the Bean, fully recovered from his spill, pushes away from me and runs off again to play, the Big Bean arrives with his new watch and sits down next to me.  I grin at him and put my hand in his, and we sit there together with glowing smiles, watching our beautiful son dance before us.

We’ve been through so much together, the Big Bean and I.  This month marks eighteen years since we first met — Eighteen years of ups and downs and really ups and really downs and huge laughs and big tears and fucks and fights and one absolutely stunning, perfect Bean to show for it all.  He has his many faults and I have my few, but so far there hasn’t been ONE SINGLE THING that we haven’t been able to laugh about together.  Not one. 

I don’t know what the future holds for us, no one can predict what will happen to them ten years from now, or even ten minutes.  Life is WAY too full of surprises to ever think you’ve got it all figured out. 

But what I DO know is that I will forever love this man, my best friend, the father of my son, the love of my life.  And that little Bean, the one who’s brought both of our lives meaning and magic and a love like we never knew before.

And for now, that’s really enough.


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18 Responses to “The Mall”

  1. I think you did a great job at saying what so many of us don’t know how to. Happy 18th, and many more!

  2. *sniffles*

    you are good people.

  3. yep…I’ve been looking around for that in my own world here lately. Glad you’ve got it.

  4. SHIT! You made me cry!

    I’ve cocooned for so many years now. Thankfully, I came to understand myself and my needs better, and now I feel like I’m the best mom my kids could have… still working on the wife part, but I digress…

    I’m so happy you had this moment.

  5. This is eerie. Seriously.

    I, too, have been RIDICULOUSLY wrapped up in me, and writing, and ego, and mememememe.

    Then I picked up TwoPointFive at preschool on Friday and that running to me, that coming together after being apart, it is sheer light and joy and soul.

    and I had that same moment, that same message: THIS IS WHAT LIFE’S ALL ABOUT, DUMBASS! (My deity wasn’t as kind)

    Maybe we can remind each other of this from time to time. It’s so important.

  6. sniff sniff sniff. This is beautiful, really. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. YOUR.BEST.POST.EVER!! I mean it. Straight from the heart. So honest. So REAL….I’m so happy for you.

  8. Wow. I loved how you wrapped this post up… It is so true and so real to any parent that might happen across it. I’m sorry it has taken me as long as it has to really recognize and embrace these moments and applaud YOU for appreciating them with your first child. It took me THREE boys to finally get that this is IT. THIS is the important stuff. I’m going to go shed some bitter tears and then wipe them away to make room for tears of joy now.


  9. Damn woman.


  10. As nice as it would be to be able to keep our priorities in total order all the time, I think a little shifting around is normal. As long as the really important ones work their way back up tot he top eventually, I think all is well.

    Personally, I’ve put the Mommy thing so high on the list lately that the rest is all kind of falling apart. So, you know, I need a check the other way once in a while.

  11. It’s funny when and where these moments happen, huh? Beautiful post!

  12. Yeah, I got into the whole “appreciate what’s in front of you” and then, reading Last Child in the Woods, I got all HEY! about how overly consumeristic and lazy fucks we are. I said, you know what, Heather, it’s time to par back and use ONLY WHAT YOU NEED!

    Better be sure what you ask for because 3 days later we had a major FUBAR in our checking account. Hell yes we’ll be “only what we need!” for a while.

  13. The chords strike resoundingly: Robin Williams’ Peter Pan remembering he can fly.

    A long, long time ago, much more than 18 years, a little girl hugged me, and i was the only god damn person in the universe. i was so in love with her, my joy made tears well in my eyes and i had to turn away so she would not see me cry.

    She put it all in perspective for me, just as the bean did for you.

    She made this Peter Pan fly again.

    i must stop as you know and don’t particulary care for your father’s blubbering sentimentalism.

    You, the Big Bean, and The One and Only Fantasmaglorious Bean will be fine.

    And one day, he will fly too.

  14. That was a kickass post my friend. Happy Anniversary. 18 years is amazing.

  15. Beautiful.

  16. Have a beautiful day with your clan of beans.

  17. dude, so I wrote my Kid a happy birthday letter. And I was going on about how proud he made me and what not. And it was at that moment that I realized, through all my fuck ups and insecurities, that when it came to him, I was like an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. I mean, I’m not like a hovering, molly-coddling, “goo-goo-ga-ga my poor prince is hurt”(and btw, I fucking can’t stand people who by all that “prince” shit. it makes me throw up in my mouth.) type of mom. Point…my point…oh yeah, I can be a fucktardian through life and screw up and work and be depressed because I am lonely without the husband, but when my son is around and relying on me I couldn’t feel more like a god. He makes me feel like I can do anything. Which god can do sometimes I guess, from what I’ve heard.
    Anyway, that was an awesome post and made me all sappy and teary eyed. Which I guess shows that we do have some feelings and emotion in there some where. right?

  18. That was an awesome piece of writing.
    I needed to read that. It really brought me back down to earth. Thankyou.

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