She sniffles, and wipes her nose with the back of her hand before folding up the rest of a gossamer sheet.
“MoOoOom,” I whine. “I’ll be fine. There will be BIRDS! And DOGS! It’s going to be so much fun.”
“I know,” she says with a soft smile. It doesn’t quite reach her eyes, because all she can think about is how much I will miss Her.
“I know your family and friends will care for you well.” Already, she can see the faces of the many mentors and givers and receivers who will cross my path as I forge my way through a mortal journey. But can they listen and speak in my language, the way She does intuitively? Will they nurture and nourish me to Her exacting standard?
(She puffs out a low breath at that thought, because while she won’t say it out loud, this is exactly why she’s glad to be getting a break from me. She needs some time to just lay in the quiet and be Herself again.)
“And I can talk to you all the time!!” I add, still running eager circles around her.
“Whenever you want,” she affirms with a measured tone, knowing that I will forget to check in for days or weeks or months at a time. Knowing that She will be completely lost to my view for the first quarter-century of my life.
A dark shadow clouds her expression.
When I pummel into her from the side and throw my arms around her, she lets out a little startled shriek, and then breaks into an earnest grin. Her entire figure relaxes and descends to wrap tight around me, as I nuzzle in to the frizzy curls of Her hair and breathe in the scent deeply. She smells earthy, like home. Her gentle laughter enfolds me from all around.
I love the hearty sound of her joy.
She tells me, “Oh, I will miss you so,” and cups the curve of my cheek.
“I’ll miss you too, Momma,” I say earnestly, beaming up into her eyes. Then a heartbeat later, I’m already hurtling away again.
She smiles again at that. Then, inhaling deeply, she snaps my luggage shut and trails her fingers deftly along the canvas surface, as though imbuing it with some kind of magic.
At last, she hefts the bag up into her arms, and walks out of the room to find me.
“Are you ready?” she asks, and realizes that the question is more for her own benefit than for mine.
“Let’s go!” I yelp, and her heart swells while breaking just a little bit more.
by Aisling “Ash” Rowan