Last Friday I spent a really lovely afternoon at the beach with Dylan and the mom. We splashed and played in the sand where it met the water and my son squealed when the tiny waves in the bay created by the wake of the boats rolled onto him.
At one point, my mom - always prepared with a healthy snack - offered some grapes. I surprised myself by decadently responding that what I'd really like was an ice cream. She surprised me by encouraging me to got get some for both of us.
And so I slipped on my sandals and found myself reveling in the summery feel of sand rubbing between my toes as I walked the short blocks to the little liquor store on the peninsula.
Coming off the sunny sidewalk, my eyes adjusted to the dim store as I slid open the cooler's door and the frost tingled my salty face. I browsed through the treats before selecting a foil-wrapped drumstick for my mom and a plastic covered ice cream sandwich for myself. Classics!
Out of the shop, I headed back and let my happy thoughts drift to our plans for the weekend. Then they shifted darkly to news my mom had shared about a friend who is ill.
Stepping off the boardwalk and back onto the sand, my thoughts refocused as I saw again my mother, still sitting at the edge of the water. And there next to her was a very little boy, his floppy white hat reflecting the bright sun. The sight of him startled me.
I realized that for a moment, I had forgotten him. I had forgotten this little child, that I have a precious son.
How is it possible that from time to time, I forget? All those years hoping, waiting, and working to bring a child into our lives, how can he slip so easily from my awareness?
While I find this forgetfulness remarkable, I don't feel guilty about it or find it disturbing. It's always fleeting, and certainly the reminder is pleasant. For so long, my identity was tied to being a single woman, and then to being infertile. I just figure that it will take awhile to fully integrate this new me, to always know that I am a mother.