A tragic poem

There are things no one tells you when you become a mom

Unspoken secrets that are kept locked away

Until you stumble on them in embarrassing ways

Like how you’ll bleed like a war victim just after he’s born

And how much breast feeding can fucking hurt

How much of a tolerance you have for someone else’s literal shit

Every day

For years

And how boogers taste

Or how wet you can get without getting clean

And there are dark times that you can’t even fathom

Moments when you wonder if you shouldn’t have had him

And the guilt that comes with that thought, as sweeping as a tide

You will lose your temper

You will wish you were stronger, better, more patient

You will wish you were someone else

You will wish he was someone else

You will hate the sound of your own voice sometimes

And how much you sound like your own mother

And there are other moments too

When he smiles at you just because he wants to make you smile

Or touches you with affection you don’t even show yourself

And this warmth spreads through your soul

It’s not like any other love

It’s not like the love you have with your partner, your family, your friends

It’s something else entirely

A whole other level that is deeper, and more precious, and you want to hold on forever

And right now, he wants you to hold on too

But you know this is only a moment in the evolution of your life

Because in another few years he won’t even want you to touch him

Your love will embarrass him

You won’t be able to hold him anymore in that precious way

You know this because it’s what you did to your own mom

And all you can think, now that you’re on the verge of being on the other side,

Is “oh”

You want to run back to your mom, run into her arms

And say “now I understand, now I see”

You want to tell her that you’re sorry for the heartbreak you caused her

The grief, the loss,

The tragedy of you growing up

But there are no words

So all you can say

Is “Mom…I love you”