Back in the days when I was in grad school, I spent a lot of time studying Alice Walker. In my research, I discovered that Alice Walker had spent a lot of time studying Zora Neale Hurston. For the title of the collection of Hurston’s work that she edited, Walker selected a Hurston quote that has stayed with me all these years:
These days, I feel so disconnected inside that I’m not sure what will come out if I open my mouth–a laugh, something mean, something impressive. I’m trying to love all of that. Make space for all of it.
Today I wanted to scream when Carlos pooped half in the toilet and half on the floor. I resisted yelling, but I gave him a talking to that was certainly mean and impressive. Then 5 minutes later he walked by himself to the car and he looked so grown up, moving so easily away from me, that I reached out silently to let my fingers brush against his hair. He walked into school by himself instead of asking me to carry him and I thought I would have to curl up in a ball in the corner for a while.
He’s growing up–that’s a good thing–but he can’t stay my baby and I love that baby so much.
Loving tiny people this much–it’s mean and impressive.