Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.
William Makepeace Thackery said that but if you’re anything like me you might remember it better from “The Crow.”
Niko is still in that stage where he thinks I know everything and can do everything. If he asks me a question and I don’t have an answer, he thinks I am holding out on him and gets angry at me. I gave him some blueberries and didn’t pluck a dried bit of leaf off one of them, and he was offended. “Why would you even think I like this?” He asks me to draw an Ornitholestes and takes it personally if I draw it “wrong” (holding an egg/not holding an egg/too big/too small/too happy/not happy enough/dancing/not dancing/etc). He had a hilarious looking pratfall the other day out of NOWHERE (usually you know why a kid falls down. They slip on a piece of paper or step on a floppy sock or stumble over a toy or slide on that slippery patch of floor they’d rubbed butter into earlier or something. He just flew right down.) that ended up fairly serious, with a badly bitten lip. He clung to me, sobbing, upset that he was crying so much and unable to stop. Then he blamed me. “You should have SAVED ME. You should have CAUGHT me.” It was my fault he fell, you see. Because I should have intervened. Like lightning. Like god.
I can’t save him. I can’t read his mind and make him happy. I can’t make everything all better. He’s still grappling with the idea of mortality, of death; with the idea that some day he might not have a mama and a tata, that he’ll be alone. I can’t just make that better.
He has nightmares, and night terrors. Maybe this is the side effect of a medication he’s on, or maybe it’s just his age or his relation to me (I get nightmares frequently, as in several times a week… during times of high stress they can hit every single night multiple times a night. It’s… not restful.) He screams and cries and thrashes and he’s seriously upset, and it just kills me that I can’t make everything right. I hold him, I try to calm him down. One particularly bad one I tried to reassure him that he was in his own little bed and he was safe. “I’m not safe. I’m not! I’m not safe anywhere!” he wailed. It was like a knife through the heart. He didn’t remember it at all the next day.
“Why didn’t you save me? You should have saved me!”
I’m trying, kiddo. I’m trying.