I imagine sometimes in the comfort of my day dreams that you are lost, waiting for the time when you can arrive unexpectedly in my life and be the joy that I have always desired more than I care to admit to myself, let alone to anyone else. As I put on my public mask I revel in telling people when they ask, that ‘I’m so glad to be an aunt. You get all the fun, without any of the responsibilities.’ I tell them that I can’t wait to take my nephew Mr T, out to the park, on bike rides, on long explorations in forests and caves. I tell them I can’t wait to show him the wonder and magic of the world and hear him squeal with laughter when we splash in the swimming pool or share a joke. I can hardly wait to take him to concerts and to the pub, to talk and laugh at adult things, to see the man that he will become. And this is all true, but it is my public façade, the comedy mask that hides my sorrow and longing for that which I will never hold, the ‘mama’ I will never hear, the long days of summer that we will not share. Then my arms feel empty.
Sometimes when the wind blows softly across my cheeks I can imagine for a second that it is you blowing me kisses, but it’s just the wicked wind playing tricks and I scold the emptiness and not your naughtiness as a mama should. Perhaps if I was more patient, more amiable or personable then you would be one of three or four tugging my jeans and asking me to read one more story before bed. Perhaps right now we would be building a fort out of the upturned sofa and banks of cushions. Perhaps I would be scolding you for not picking up your clothes, or eating your greens. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Life doesn’t always give you what you want, or what you deserve, nor should it. But it is full of beauty and wonder that I will never show you. So I do not dream any more of the day when you will come into my life and change it forever in ways that I can not imagine. It is too late for me to dally with such foolish dreams. Without you though, there is a part of me that is and always will be unfulfilled.
But for now Willow, I tuck you away in the depths of the secret world that I go to sometimes when I open this fallible heart to my deepest secret and sigh when I must wake from my reverie to go and live in this reality.
My foolish heart does not dream any more of the day that you will be born, of the world that we would share, yet it still waits for you, now and forever.