Entering the school system as a non-traditional family
Here is the part that hurts the most: when I bend to pick him up, he pulls away, curls his body inwards, sharply, so I cannot reach him. Much later, if I replay the morning in my mind, I want to redact that moment. It is a black space, a lump in my throat that stays, taking up the space of all the good words I might speak to bring him back to me.
I ask him why he won’t let me hold him. He is five years old, my only child. I’m his only living parent. How many times have I lifted him to shield myself from deeper hurt? Most of our days, we have only each other. Now he won’t let me carry him, comfort him. When he starts to tell my why—slowly, hesitatingly—there is shame. It falls out of him in heavy blows that almost bring me to my knees. I hold his hand to keep him as close as he will allow.
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