Bound for Morningtown

Well, my child, you start school in the morning. You are, you tell me, ‘so excited’. Buoyant, intrepid, boundingly enthusiastic; light of my heart, you are, by and large, quite ready to spread your wings; this small sorrow is my lament, and mine alone.

Your father and I were, unusually, singing for a most perplexed and unimpressed you a couple of evenings back, songs from an album that we both had as children. And although we merely gave you rousing renditions of the comedic ones, the Seekers’ Morningtown Ride was also on the album

 and likely contributed significantly towards the early construct of safety and contentment built by my childhood psyche. I have always found the track relaxing and oddly poignant, and it appears that, even now, I find the notion of a sleeping child, travelling long distances at sundown, loaded with hypnotic charm.

Driving back home from London, heading north, the sun sinking to our left, I saw your sleeping face in my mirror, fathoms deep, and knew you to be tranquil, safe, warm, stuffed with your favourite junk food, contented; your jumbled stories of expanded horizons ready to spill out to your father when you woke.

Mellow, extremely tired, and terribly Clomid-sentimental-maudlin, I felt I wanted to chase the sunset always, with you tucked peacefully, barefoot, comfy, blanketed and snug behind me, forever suspended together, rocking, rolling, riding.

Huffy, animated, interested and exhausted: you, the country boy, steadily negotiated our frenetic capital city, pattering jerkily yet unwaveringly along, grasping my hand, unphased. It was so important to me to spend that time with you, and, while I mourn the lost possibilities of my failed pregnancy for your sake as well as mine, I also know I could not have made that journey with you alone while pregnant – and so we have gained, you and I together, as well as lost.

You are starting a far longer journey than that now, my little traveller, one so big that you cannot comprehend it. The first, small, one-day step takes you a metaphorical – and actual – mile from the shelter of home, and while I am immoderately proud and pleased to watch you rush confidently toward your new worlds, in doing so, you are beginning to leave mine, and I feel such selfish anguish that I cannot envelop you in some imaginary, endless childhood utopia with me.

Somewhere there is sunshine,
Somewhere there is day,
Somewhere there is Morningtown,
Many miles away.

You’ll be absorbed and kinetic on arrival tomorrow, I know, re-acquainting, exploring, scurrying; so, please God – let me not cry anywhere you can see me.

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