I am credited a lot for being strong.
Most of the time, I am.
But sometimes, I look at the angle of his jaw and the way the muscles in his neck stretch when he turns his head. I wonder what he would be like if things were different. Would he be funny or serious? Would he be naughty, but so damn charming that you couldn't stay mad at him? What would his voice sound like when he needed me? Would he call me mama or mommy or mother? Would he be artistic? Would he play the guitar, like his father? What would a Kool-Aid mustache look like on his upper lip? What kind of young man would he be? What kind of girl would he bring home? What would he want to be when he grows up?
Most of the time, I am strong. But sometimes I mourn the man he will never be. I curse the fragile organization of DNA. When I hold him tight as his body convulses in seizure, as he falls asleep, exhausted from the exertion...my back sore from carrying him, I am not strong. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find my strength again.