When I picked you up, you asked me not to touch you.
â€œIâ€™m not a huggy person,â€ you mumbled.
I drove you to the mall and bought you a CD. I didnâ€™t know that it was the wrong thing to do. How differently this story might have turned out if weâ€™d gone to a museum instead.
Back at home, we made lasagna for dinner and watched a movie. Your laughter was like music.
You spent the night on our futon, and in the morning you refused our chocolate chip waffles.
â€œToo sweet,â€ you said.
You were what, 16? You wore girly clothes and sneakers. You already knew your limits well and stayed away from your fences. I admire your awareness.
I tried to braid your hair in a zig-zag pattern, but I wasnâ€™t yet a mom. I had no clue how to braid. Iâ€™m sorry.
We drove you home and waved goodbye as you went inside, not touching, not making future plans.
I failed you.
Your fences felt like brick walls to me and I didnâ€™t try to climb them. You had my heart but I was scared of your fear and your anger. Your not-hugs felt like punishments and Iâ€™ve never liked to be punished.
So years passed and I wished things were different. I still refused to learn to climb.
Youâ€™re older now and I think I see your bricks beginning to crumble. I see the glimpses of light showing through the cracks. Maybe youâ€™re lonely inside those walls. Iâ€™m going to build a fence of my own next to yours, almost but not quite touching. Iâ€™m going to share your cracked brick wall.
Letâ€™s not hug, just hang out. Letâ€™s laugh some more. It will be fun.