Writing Doctor: How’s it going?
Me: It’s still pretty hard, and I still feel frustrated. However, yesterday, several of the students gave me a gift. It was a homemade writing journal. The cover is a beautiful collage of book jackets and inspiring quotes. This might sound strange, but it felt like a sign. I just knew that I had to fill the pages, and that I’d have to write again.
Writing Doctor: Can you think of anything that might be causing the block? Did something happen recently?
Me: Now that I think about it, something terrible happened on Saturday. My son, Gus, and I were getting ready to take a walk to the co-op around the corner from our apartment to pick up bananas and milk. We sat together on the floor, and I put on his shoes. We were practicing a new phrase: Let’s go! We repeated it back and forth a number of times with vigor: Let’s go! Let’s go! After I put Gus’s hat and mittens on, we stood up together. I grabbed the grocery bag with my wallet, and said, Let’s go!
We said goodbye to Josh who was painting a shelf in the kitchen. Gus waved to him in my arms, Bye bye, Daddy! We exited our apartment and started down the front stairwell. Gus wiggled in my arms, Down, Mommy! he called. I was a little surprised. Gus usually preferred a lift down the narrow stairwell. It was still an overwhelming amount of stairs for his short legs to traverse. I set him down. Hold the railing and Mommy will hold your hand. I gripped his small gloved hand, and we proceeded down the stairs.
It happened quickly. His little hand left mine, and he was tumbling forward. I reached for him, but my hands came up empty. My legs moved next, but they weren’t quick enough. I couldn’t stop his body from rolling down. A terror so deep within me called out desperately, and I saw Gus look at me. His eyes revealed utter bewilderment and something else.
It’s the something else that I can neither shake or pinpoint. I see it over and over again in my head. My worst fear is that he feels unsafe, like Mommy can’t keep him safe in the world. I know it’s inevitable that I can’t keep him safe forever. I just never thought it would happen like this and so young.
I’m just thankful he’s okay and wasn’t hurt other than a few bruises.
Writing Doctor: Give yourself time to heal and when you’re ready write about it.