Normally, I’d be happy to wake to the sound of rain. It pings on my roof; that’s how I know it’s there.

But today, I woke up cursing to myself. I’ll have to carry my son in this weather. The ice. His not waterproof splint.

The last final of the semester. Friday the 13th. I wasn’t superstitious until I loved someone who was. He cursed this year, cursing us. The last Friday the 13th of the 13th year. What I’d give to make it all go away.

Though I’m not suicidal. When I woke up and heard rain, I listened for signs that my son was okay–breathing. The kitten must have disturbed him, for he cried out in pain. I knew he was hurting but fine.

There are many moments like this I’ve had as a mom. Those times when I wake and wait to make sure my purpose for living–the human I made a being–is feeling better than I am. This morning, I held onto this wait and explored my fears.

What if he wasn’t okay?

What if something happened in the night and caused him to stop breathing?

Can he be lying in a position that could do that?

Why hasn’t he screamed out for me because he needs something?

Mothers know these questions well. And people who have never had children probably see them as ridiculous. Anyway, when I felt them and feared them, these questions comforted me by being there. I knew that no matter what happened to him, I’d be right there and make myself feel through it. What little else of my worst fears can come true (as I knock on wood) are left to come true.

He left us. I’m terrified of everything outside. The world hurts. My job feels pointless on most days in comparison to all this. The weather is against us. We are all alone in Kansas. All alone. I am all my son has in this world. He is all I have. I carry him to the bathroom. I carry him to the car. I carry him to the couch. His world is simply a minecraft fiction. Friends are only from afar. And love exists only in texts from strangers. Only these things.

This is life now. This is life now.


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