Observing people out and about with their children, downtown or at the supermarket or wherever, I can’t help but think that some parents view their kids as fashion accessories, or exotic toys, or even worse, marginally bearable nuisances. Not that they don’t love their children. I think some of them have forgotten what it is really all about, what is really important. In the end, it’s really all about that unconditional love you give to your child, isn’t it?
I think that everyone who has a child should take time out to embrace him or her, just give them a big hug, and don’t let go. Some of us, of course, don’t have our child here with us physically, but that shouldn’t stop us now, should it?
But what do you mean, Ezra’s Daddy?
I remember when I held, hugged and kissed Little Peanut Boy in the hospital. At first, I had the feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. There was my boy, right there, eyes closed and lifeless, and there was nothing I could do for him. He looked as if he needed me to do something, wanted me to do something, and although there were many things I wanted to do to help him, what could I do at that point? Here was my son, and my parental instincts that were kicking in were of little use to me.
And yet, I had the feeling that he understood, and he was happy just that I could hold him and talk to him, the way I did when he was in his mother’s belly. And we had him wrapped in a traditional shroud when we sent him off to meet with his ancestors. Over that shroud he was wearing his little green alligator outfit. His little mouse toy was right next to him in the coffin so he wouldn’t get bored, and so he’d have something to play with when the old Jewish folks talked his ear off with stories about the old country. And he had his blanket so he wouldn’t get cold, and a framed picture of his Mommy and Daddy.
I laughed and I cried as I read Goodnight Moon to him right before we buried him. And I took great care to bury him, taking that shovel and making sure it was done right. It was the only chance I would have. The feelings that were racing through my system were pure, uncluttered, unconditional love. And even though I would no longer be able to hold him physically, I could embrace his spirit. I embrace him every day, without fail.
So, when Ezra’s spirit is in my presence, as it was last night, I embrace that spirit. My cat Red didn’t know any better, he was scared and ran under the couch, where he stayed for a half hour or so. I’ve never seen him act like that before. For me, being in the presence of my boy will make me sad one day, and happy the next. I know his spirit is there during tough times, when I need encouragement, a helping hand, or someone to cheer me on. He has helped me a lot and taught me a great deal, about love, about life, about the things that really matter. So I hold him tight, and I’ll never let go.