Last night I lay beside Jeb in the darkness. He had crawled up into my arms, his seven year old head resting on my shoulder, a leg thrown across mine.
He felt heavy like a stone – at least 60 pounds – and I wondered how long it had been since I’d held him in my arms like this. I recalled the early months of his life when I could lay on my side and and hold him within the crook of one arm. How his toes would brush my belly button. Now, they dangled around my ankles.
I thought about how one day – not so far away – he may no longer want to be this close. His body too big and long to curl up and rest within my limbs. His mind may be elsewhere, no need to cuddle with his mom.
I could see the stars through the screen of his bedroom. Feel his solid head near my chest. Listen to his breath. I soaked in the weight of the moment, as if his heaviness would leave an imprint on my body to always remember.
Once he fell asleep I moved myself out from under his floppy arms. The thought of the ever-elusive jade stone from Big Sur came to mind. Prompted by some quiet whisper I felt moved to look in my backpack one more time for the stone. My pack has about ten zippered pockets and I reached my hand inside each one, feeling my way into every crease and crevice.
That pocket’s empty.
Mmm, an umbrella. Ok.
Oh, Jeb’s old shirt is in this one. Laundry. Alright.
This pocket’s empty.
And then, I went to a very small inner pocket and felt something. Sure enough, I pulled out the little bag that held the jade given to me at the Heart Beat of Big Sur. There it was.
So here it is. Did the stone actually slip through the portals of time and space? I had searched my backpack repeatedly a few days ago to no avail.
Or had it been with me all along and I simply needed to experience a lesson of letting go? As promised, I had sent the sunrise shell to Big Sur on New Year’s eve, even though the jade had gone missing. Was the reemergence of the jade my reward for non-attachment and promises kept?
Or was it just that I was a scattered mother who couldn’t remember where I’d stashed my rock?
Funny thing about this stone, it’s full of mystery.