From the cradle to the grave.
At the very first, a baby learns faces. First, Mom, then others. Then expressions. Love. Concern. Sadness. Anger. By that time, a child with typically developing hearing is probably already beginning efforts at speech. Soon words will try to take over from faces.
We still need faces, with no glass in between.
Words, we soon learn, can move people. Much later, we learn that words withheld can kill, as surely as the cruel word. Words can flatter, give a false sense of security, or simply deceive. They can nourish, heal, and restore.
I’ve spoken and written until I’m spent. With no sense of having made meaning.
The closest of friends looking at me, hopelessly.
On the other hand. I’ve been told, repeatedly, what a good mama, I am. But. I’m not. My spoken words are cutting. Have trained my children’s ears. Hearts.
Until we get to the grave. All that matters are words. Build or destroy. Nourish or starve. Bless or curse. Give life or take it away.
Sleep has eluded me, these weeks. This morning, I woke up running. Away. Needing to be gone. Unable to elude the meaning I’ve sought.
I reap what I sow. Those most precious to me reap, too.
“You are a great Mom,” burns like a branding iron.
I can’t look at another bewildered face.
But don’t say that.
Make them true.