Standing Behind the Stars for Protection
There are times I need Brendan more than he needs me. Stating this phrase, here, in my notebook, only intensifies the thought. When he was born, I foresaw this moment would emerge. But preparing for the event never lessens the realization. I have known too many dysfunctional relationships. I always thought I would be able to avoid them, flatten out the rising negativity before it could form in front of me.
•Yet, tonight, as a counter-example to the above paragraph, while Ricky took extra minutes to clean up and relax, Brendan and I lay in the guest room’s early twilight, whispering to each other. Flashing lanterns at the ceiling, making new patterns of constellations. Stand behind the stars for protection, he’d say, shifting the light around the two of us. Let’s be invisible, he’d add, curling into a fetal position in my arms. •When he takes short naps, we lie down together, side-by-side: father and son. His restless small body shifting, as one with insomnia, resisting the need to sleep. Finally he gives up, his small fists pressed next to my ribs.