I used to read this book to my son every night before he went to bed. It's a wonderful story about the love a mother has for her son all through his life. No matter what trouble he got into from childhood to adulthood, she never stopped loving him.
While the concept of a mother crawling across the floor of a grown man's home to rock her adult son to sleep may seem silly, the message isn't silly at all. It's about unconditional love. It's clear that the mother would never desert her son; she just wants to comfort him. The boy in the story makes some bad choices, but she never stops loving him. She never stops rocking him back and forth, back and forth.
And though I can't crawl across the floor of his prison cell today, I feel that unconditional love for my son just like the day I first laid eyes on him 22 years ago.
So because I can't crawl across his floor, this morning I wrote him a letter. And I consider it quite an accomplishment whenever I complete one because it's never easy writing him letters. That may seem strange coming from someone who fancies herself a "writer," but it's true. It's incredibly difficult to write to my son in prison.
The challenge is really about balance, trying to share my thoughts with him without revealing too much of the gut-wrenching pain I feel when I think of where he is and why.
Tears pour down my face as I carefully select mundane topics like my plans for the show I'm directing or my ideas for re-landscaping our yard. I can't let my broken heart bleed through the drivel I'm crafting for him to read. I don't want him to know how hard this is for me because for him, it's already too hard.
But no matter what I write in his letters, I always conclude them the same way... with the lines from that special book. While she cradles her great big boy in her arms, she sings:
I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.