You wear adolescence like armour: hair just so, training-wheel moustache tickling your lip —curled in perpetual distain— impossibly long limbs and clothes giving the illusion of effortless care.
I want to smash it crack it open reveal the gooey baby interior of the boy whose feet I kissed before he could walk whose sticky fingers reached for my hand while sporting a joyful mashup of clone trooper mask Hogwart’s robes matching nail polish and foam sword.
It’s a phase, I am told by a tottering pile of self-help books and a playlist of shiny-faced YouTube psychologists. You, who leapt up into my arms when I least expected it now stare down at me with doubt and distain (if you look at me at all) and when angered dig out the deepest parts you know of me to hit the hardest.
I wonder where you’ve gone.
But then you envelop me in an octopus hug call me ‘little mama’ while you dance just for me, not stopping until I’m laughing through tears (I am still the audience you most desperately want to please) and I catch glimpses of you when your eyes seek out mine during sappy movie moments because you know what makes me cry and you wordlessly pass a tissue.
You fill my heart and break it a hundred times a week.
I can’t help but love you forever and fiercely and can’t wait to meet you again.
Christina Grant is a teacher who finds it easier managing a classroom full of adolescents than the two who live with her. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines such as “Gathering Storm” and “Fiction War” and her YA speculative fiction novel, ‘Being Human’, is available on line and in print. She can be found on twitter @cgrantwriter or on her website: cgrantwriter.com.