Slivers of sun are piercing the leaves and there’s nowhere else I’d like to be right now. Warm bright greenness drips on our heads as we make our way through the woods. Late morning. The boys riding their bikes, chasing each other, competing. Muddy boy bikes, riding upright and fast. They ride the path and the world is left behind. No better place, no better time. Celebrating. This. Knowing it will never come back. Green T-shirt, blue T-shirt, shorts… Wait, that’s not what it’s about. Sasha’s round forearms holding on, Tony’s swerves and soulful peeking at me, the giggles. Wait, that’s not all either… there’s the dark moments from a couple of days ago when motherhood stomped its feet and left. Left me standing in the middle of the road not knowing how a child can parent children. You’re mean… I’m not but I am stubborn, I am overwhelmed at times and I am forgetful… Forgetful of my promises to keep them unharmed from egos.
They crouch over the sides of an old wooden bridge looking for backswimmers. Reaching the water edge, walking on the slippery log that is both life and death and the world in between. No camera today. Regret? No, no time for that… I have my heart with, that’ll do. They point, laugh, spit. Spit again and laugh. Backswimmers slide back and forth. They bend the water. Cradles for the bug’s feet, neverending fascination for my boys. They’re waterbenders, I tell them. Round eyes, wonder. But how, mom? How do they do it? Pushing just enough so that the water won’t break. Bending it just so, it’ll bounce right up when the backswimmer slides to the other side. Mothering should be like that. But how? Bending the surface of their soul just enough, no pushing through, no hurting. No piercing. No mistake. What if, what about when it happens? Soulbender. I am? They learn, I learn. They ride, I run to keep up. They slow down at the hill. Can you you push us up, mom? Sure. For now.