26 May 2009
Impostor



There's an impostor in the castle.

She sleeps in my daughter's bed and wears my daughters clothes. When I go to watch Big A play softball, there that stranger is, sliding in the dirt and rounding bases with the world in front of her.

This impostor has taken to calling me "Mom", and I let her; I believe she is the only one that can tell me where my daughter has gone, so I try to be kind and gentle and coax the answers that I seek out of her.

This stranger has traveled to my home with us, stood side by side with my sister and glanced, her head tilted, at the tip of my sister's head, which wasn't far from her own. "I'm wearing flats," my sister responded, looking at me, our minds swimming together over an ocean of time and space, searching for my daughter.

This impostor has been climbing trees of late, carefully picking out clothes; looking into a mirror that reveals a stunning face before leaving the room that she's inhabiting.

She's got a sea of emotions nearly always swimming in her eyes and sometimes, just for a moment, I look into them and can almost see my daughter looking back. But those moments are fleeting and pass by as quickly as a cloud in the sky; before I have a chance to say all of the things going through my head, she turns a cheek and bounds off in a different direction as I mentally add to the list that I carry within my heart, keeping it tucked safely away for the day that I find Big A again.

This impostor sprawls out across a bed that just yesterday my baby daughter laid upon, curled up with my dogs. She wears lip gloss and sandals and stares at me blankly as I wonder where her dolls went. "They were just here," I implore, but to no use; I don't believe that I will see them again and that thought alone saddens me in ways hard to express.

She is so comfortable here, in her role, that she sleeps soundly when I steal into her room at night and peer at her face; the moonlight streaming upon it, searching for the daughter of mine that I miss so deeply.

She rolls her eyes and shrugs at her pink walls; explains them as a way to keep me amused--perhaps to keep me off the trail of discovering where she has hidden the child that I carried within me just a moment ago.

At times, she curls up against me and kisses my cheek and murmurs sweet nothings such as, "I love you, momma." In those seconds, I almost believe her; that she is mine.

But then she steps back and I remind myself that no, she is not.

She is not mine.

She never was.

I just had the honor of holding her and rocking her and bathing her and singing to her while she grew into this impostor before me.

And my heart aches with this knowledge as time whispers mercilessly into my ear, "I told you so."
16 Comments:
Blogger flutter said...
oof. beautiful

Blogger Kimberly said...
She is yours, honey. She is yours.

Blogger Maggie, Dammit said...
Oh man this one sits heavy in my gut. I know exactly what you are talking about and you said it so well. Time whispering, "I told you so" is the perfect description. I'm so glad Flutter shared this post. Thank you.

Blogger Kate said...
You have expressed the letting go of a child so much more eloquently than I ever could! Any mother will read these words as her heart shatters from either knowing what will come or from experiencing it already. I've been told that one day, far down the road, our children come back to us, holding tight in their hand the remaining piece of our shattered heart and help make it whole again. Until that day....thanks for expressing what I never could!

And my heart ached just reading this.

Blogger bgirl said...
ouch, right through the heart. you are such a beautiful writer, this post is bittersweet and so true of what time so wickedly does to our babies, to us.

thanks for this incredible post. you continue to amaze me mama.

Blogger someone somewhere said...
..and the worst is yet to come... soon, she will be driving. and dating. and choosing friends over family. and graduating from high school. and going off to college. Can time really go that fast? ...sigh...

Blogger Mama Goose said...
Lovely. Teary eyed, runny nosed, pain in my heart loveliness.

Blogger Yo said...
beautiful.

Blogger Amanda said...
Dude, a little warning.

Blogger inColoradoNOW! said...
Love the The Servant's Soundtrack! Frankie to Sugarland, about an eclectic taste in music as mine! The Judd's Rocking with the Rhythm of the Rain was coming to mind as I read this meaningful post. Great job Jenn!
Thanks for reading my Blog...
-Mike
http://milehighdad.com/

Blogger luckyzmom said...
Wow! What a way to remind a Mom! Thanks for doing it so beautifully.

Blogger Kat said...
How do you do it? You touch my heart every.single.time I visit you. Beautifully written!

FYI....
I have decided to try blogging again. I hope you'll visit me at my new blog, STARTING OVER

http://startingover-justabeachkat.blogspot.com/

Hugs!
Kat

Blogger slouchy said...
ahh, your oldest daughter and my oldest son. impostors, both of them.

sigh.

Blogger someone somewhere said...
ahem...(throat clearing)...the weather's nice. time to take one batch of laundry off the line and put another load out...

oh my goodness. you are amazing. this post is amazing. I'm not looking forward to these days.. I know it'll happen, just more quickly than I'd ever wish.

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