The Fragile Bond of Mother & Son

My son had a fall today and it was a sobering moment.

We had been goofing off when he fell backwards and hit his head. All I could do in that moment was to completely freeze because if I had reached for him as he was falling, the shift of my body would have made him fall harder.

I just waited and pictured the worst in my mind.

You know how they talk about people having their whole lives flash before their eyes? Well, in that moment when my son was free-falling, his whole life flashed before my eyes.

And, of course, what that meant was my entire career as a mother flashed before my eyes. And I thought about all the ways that I have let my child down.


I can never quite decide if this portrait my son drew of me is flattering or frightening.

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t see it that way. He got up and let me comfort him and we both vowed not to try that stunt again.

He was a bit stunned and his head was a little sore, but he was okay. Nothing was broken and he was still alive and able to speak, hear and all that.

The worst case that I imagined had not occurred, not even close.

He was okay.

But I sobbed, uncontrollably.

I sobbed over what might have happened–that I might have lost my child in a fall that I was partly responsible for.

I sobbed thinking about the time when he was a babe in arms and we both fell and I almost lost him then too.

I sobbed thinking about the times that I am cranky or cross with him even when he has done nothing to deserve my bad attitude.

And I sobbed thinking of all the times when I have put him off when he has wanted me to play with him because I just wanted to finish writing or reading whatever I was working on.

And I sobbed thinking about how hard it was for me to bond with him when he was first born because my postpartum depression put such a whammy on me.

And I sobbed worrying if my bond with my son will be healthy and strong as he gets older.

And I just wanted to hold him and pray and hope that we will be okay.

And now, he is waiting for me to finish writing this so we can spend some time together…I want to make it count, because I really do love that kid more than I can say.

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