My son was here today. He made a decision (and I supported it) to move to his dad’s this year. He’s doing well, liking the new school, and has his driving permit.
For whatever reason, he always likes to drive to Kindred (my hometown), and Leonard (my dad’s hometown). He likes to stop and play at the Leonard park.
Honestly, I think I know why he likes to go to the Leonard park. We used to go there for family reunions. When he was younger and we needed a little road trip, we’d take him there. He was a year old the first family reunion. He was 6 when his dad and I brought him. He was 9 when I took him after his dad and I divorced.
The park looks exactly the same. Leonard is a tiny town, but it’s beautiful.
He still wanted to play at the playground, ride the merry-go-round, swing on the swings, and climb the monkey bars. He wanted me to join him. I can’t anymore. It all hurts too much. I told him I’m too old and told him I’d watch as he went from one to the other.
I wished I could just be numb and not feel anything. I told myself I needed to shut that part of me that feels things down again to get through the next 30 years of my life. I can enjoy the moment and the scenery; I just can’t feel it because feeling it hurts.
There are many days I wish for that emotional numbness; the kind I had when I was married; the kind I had when I was working my way up at my job, but I just can’t. I missed way too much when I shut it all down. I know it was for survival. I know I can still do it. I just no longer believe it’s necessary. I need to feel every single moment–even the ones that hurt.