I draw a balloon, use watercolor. I dip the brush in red. I hold my boy's hand. "Let's color, my love." He holds the brush, my hand over his. And we paint, leaving spaces behind. I'm tempted to say, let's fill in the spaces. I stop myself from doing so. This is his way. Not mine. He leaves the table and plays with water.
I hold up two plastic teddy bears, red and yellow. "Garret, get yellow." He flicks a pencil. After two more proddings, he picks out the yellow plastic teddy. "This time, Garret, follow the pattern, Red, yellow, green, blue, white." It takes a while. He needs guidance to follow through. I stop myself from getting frustrated. This is his way. Not mine. He stands up and continues to flick the pencil.
Morgan becomes impatient, wants his food right away. I talk to him gently. "It's okay to wait. It's okay to wait." He gets my hand and places it on top of his head, wants me to massage his head. I do. He calms down and waits.
Garret cries. I had to go to work one morning. He does not like changes in routine. He's used to having me in the morning, classes in the afternoon. That's the way it goes. I arrive home just before noon. He cries even harder. I tell him, "Mama's here, my darling." He looks at me, tears in his eyes, "Shaaaynge." Change. He wants me to change my clothes already. I do. He wipes his tears and smiles.
There are days I know for sure why things are the way they are. There are days I am okay with it. And then there are days that I write. These days, words are scarce. Still, write I must.
Spaces. My boys, they have many spaces. Confusing, wonderful, mysterious, beautiful, grand spaces. And I fill those spaces. I hold those spaces for them. The best way I know how, color it with all that is in my heart.
Spaces. The irony. I myself am full of them. Perhaps I am the one that needs to be filled.
C. S. Lewis writes,
"Courage, dear heart."