Tonight is one of those nights.
The windows, the doors, are threats to my sanity. I half expect to glance at a window and find a face peering in at me. I can almost hear pounding at the door...the click of a lock, or the splintering of wood.
Tonight, I am fighting the urge to duck as I pass panes of glass.
Tonight, I am triple checking all of the doors.
Suddenly, everything seems temporary, fleeting. This life, Jude's gummy smile. Spring will pass and summer will wilt into autumn and a first year will have passed. Winter will swallow us whole, and at the end of it, a little bit more of Jude's childhood will have been gobbled. Never to be seen again. There will be teeth and training pants. Soon, the widening of shoulders and the narrowing of hips...underarm hair and attitude. The unmistakable musk of approaching adulthood.
It's going too fast.
Today, I received my revised health card. Below my name and number is Jude's name, and a brand spanking new number that is all his own. Below all of this is the donor card. I want to do the right thing, and will, as soon as I am able. But, for now...I can't even allow the possibility that his heart could ever beat in someone else's chest, or that his kidneys could someday help eliminate someone else's waste. His heart still beats against mine when I hold him tight. I still change his diapers.
And yet, day by day, his body gradually becomes less of an extension of mine and becomes more his own. He arches his back as I dress him. He turns in my arms to look where he wants to look. He imitates kisses and laughs at the dog.
He is willful; strong. Every day, he needs me just that little bit less.
We are being stalked by time. It plasters itself against the windows, mewls on the doorstep, glares at us from underneath the bushes.
For now, I'm not letting it in.