True Mourning - In The Apartment - Not Cemetery

I realize that the kids aren't dying and I should probably grow a pair but every time I have to say goodbye to these little creatures at the end of a contract, it feels a lot like a death in my heart. It's the only bad part of this job (when you're dealing with reasonable human beings for parents, that is), I think partly because the years I manage are already temporary by definition. Toddler memory is particularly fallible too which makes matters even more complicated. You share these strong bonds with these children, bonds that feel a lot like family, like true love. And then one day, you are no longer needed (or you must go for your own reasons) and when you return, it's like nothing ever was. Children do not remember these years. They do not remember your face or your voice. Your time with them - though insanely important - feels totally inconsequential. They look at you now and do not recognize you as a person they once loved. They look at you like a stranger. Because you are. Because that toddler doesn't exist anymore.
Yesterday Ari told me I was beautiful and Mila told me she loved me so much and I burst into uncontrollable tears. Absurd but I feel a bit like I'm in mourning this week - so many ups and downs - out of nowhere, 'true mourning, in the apartment not cemetery,' 
Anyway, to all of you parents out there who get to spend a lifetime watching your children grow, count your blessings and don't take any of it for granted, and be especially thankful that you never have to say 'goodbye' to your children, it's heart-wrenching! 
As someone who's been at the helm of at least a dozen childrens' 'toddler years' now, I can tell you from experience that although they are surely the most challenging years, they are also the most rewarding - For YOU, that is. I carry the memory of all of these children with me, everywhere I go, knowing they will not exist like this again but that I was there, with my eyes open to see them grow and become more human, to listen to all they've had to say - moving from nonsense to reason - and learning to love them, ever so naturally. I try hard to capture their beauty in photos so I can share a little of this magic but it's impossible. I work hard too to remember their faces and their words so that they are not really gone even if they age. But they are, I know they are and I must learn to let go because I know that they will grow up and grow old, like everyone must and more than that: because I will be quickly forgotten to them (this is how human the brain works). But the beauty and innocence of these years is incomparable to everything else I have experienced in life and although it can be hard, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Living in a perpetual state of this: i.e.: specializing in toddler years, has been both a gift for my soul and incredibly difficult to shoulder all by myself but it's made me a stronger, better person and I'm thankful for each and every little being I've had the pleasure (and pain) of caring for. These kids will all grow up to be different people than they are today and because their parents remain witnesses to all that follows, I am the ONE person who is left with these very particular & vivid memories of a very special time. For that reason (and that reason alone), I am the luckiest woman alive.
So I will continue to live here in Paris, alone, surrounded by my little ghosts and haunted by our good times together until I learn to to be truly ok with being completely forgotten but I won't lie, at times it's really tough. Like all of the best love stories, I suppose.

you can, with your little
hands, drag me
into the grave - you
have the right-
who follow you, I
let myself go-
-but if you wish, the two of us,
let us make...
an alliance
a hymen, superb
-and the life
remaining in me
I will use for - 
to do with the great
-as long as we go on living, he
lives-in us
it will only be after our
death that he will be dead
-and the bells
of the Dead will toll for
your life that
goes by, that flows
Setting sun
and wind
now vanished, and
wind of nothing
that breathes
death-whispers softly
-I am no one -
I do not even know who I am
(for the dead do not
know they are
dead-,nor even that they
-for children
at least
for otherwise
my beauty is
made of last
lucidity, beauty
face-of what would be
me, without myself
Oh! you understand
that if I consent
to live-to seem
to forget you-
it is to
feed my pain
-and so that this apparent
can spring forth more
horribly in tears, at
some random
moment, in
the middle of this
life, when you
appear to me
true mourning in
the apartment
-not cemetery-
to find only
-in presence
of little clothes
no-I will not
give up
feel nothingness
invade me


No comments:

Post a Comment