You saw right through me today,
And all the ways I can’t protect you,
Whether in my sight or from it.
And you stared, and I cried,
The first time I’ve done so since your birth,
And you saw me as a fraud,
As this parent by necessity,
And whose only banner is of Try,
Whose only recourse is to soothe you,
And to support you, to hold you
While you cannot hold yourself,
And to give you reassurance
When you cannot know you need it
And to let you know I’ll always be here.
Even if you see right through that lie,
Know I’ll always be here
While I’m here, and I hope to leave you
With more than enough to be who you are.

I can’t protect her everywhere she goes, and that is crippling to think about. I felt this loss, this squeezing of my soul when I looked at her this morning. I knew this wouldn’t be how it always is, with her hands resting on mine, calmed by just my presence. I knew that she would grow up and rebel, or be pressured, or love, and that her mom and I couldn’t be there if she absolutely needed us to be there. I thought about my weight, about how I need to do better and be better so that I can be her support just those few years longer. I thought of how selfish I still am, despite Candi and I being the least selfish we’ve ever been. I felt how I always want to feel: protective.

reply