Wednesday, June 10th, 2015...8:50 pm

Transparently Smitten

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“He is transparently smitten with her; he is comic and tragic in his hopeless love. He makes her think sometimes of a mouse singing amorous ballads under the window of a giantess.” –The Hours


He wraps his arms around me as tightly as he can. His legs too.

“I don’t want you to go,” he says. “I want only you.”

I unpeel him from me as his teacher watches, try to set him down and kiss him goodbye and head for the door.

He follows me, tears springing from his eyes. He reattaches and we work to pull him off and away.

“I want only you,” he says.


He’s sitting on the rug playing with his dinosaurs and his cars, telling a tale of his own world where the two can coexist. He narrates quietly as he moves around and rearranges. He’s always telling a story and I’m always straining to listen. Will he narrate his life always, like I do? Will he grow out of it as his sister did?

He stops suddenly. Looks up.

“I love you, Mom,” he declares, out of the blue.

“I love you too, Miles,” I say.

And then he’s back to his story, to the dinosaurs being friendly, to the cars driving off on adventures, to a world I’m only half privy to even as he declares his devotion.



He’s kicking and screaming at the suggestion that it isn’t my night to give him his bath or read his books.

“I only like you,” he says.

“I only want you,” he repeats.

I read to his sister as he adjusts to the idea of not having me within immediate reach. He settles in away from me, having fun in his bath, reading his books with someone else.

But he always comes back.

It is always me he wants.



He sits in his car seat behind me and declares that I am too far away.

“I want you,” he says.

“But I’m right here,” I say.

“I want you closer,” he clarifies.


His big eyes look at me and beg me not to leave.

His little hands hold tight onto me as I inch away.

I memorize the feel of his small hands, the weight of his four-year-old body. I know the exact placement of the chip in his tooth and the way that his hair moves always to the right. I hug him back tight and wish he’d always stay small.


Sometimes his huge love feels more like a trap than a gift.

Sometimes, after days and days of clinging and hugging and only-yous, of all the I-want-yous and no-one-elses, I crumble under the weight of it. I crumble under the weight of being constantly needed. And then I crumble more as the guilt for losing my patience or ignoring requests slowly sinks in.

It can’t be only me, I try to explain.

I know you need me.


I need me too.




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