Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The way of it


I read something the other day, something about the danger of blogging while smitten with one's children, of seeming to trumpet them as it were, and I thought that maybe it could sometimes seem to verge on that here, because when I think of my children I do tend to inflate and just about explode with happiness, and sometimes I don't contain it very well.

I have nothing to say in defense of myself except that it is important for me to stay connected to my happy, because this is not an automatic state for me. Most of my life, I have been swimming under a sea of lonely and odd, as if a pane of thick glass stood between me and other people, and I could see out but they couldn't see in, couldn't see me, and never mind that I'm garbling my metaphors.

The truth is nothing in life has made me as happy as this little family we have created, the charge of parenting these two souls who screwed up their courage and came to me, this obsessive overbearing want-to-know-everything mother I am, who never learned how to leave well enough alone, and especially not how to leave them well enough alone.

They humor me. Their dad helps out. He puts his hands on my shoulders and gently steers me away. I am a needy and anxious mother. While I am not so clueless as to think that my children will do everything right, still I want to know that they will be able to meet their challenges, that they will never confront anything so destructive—through their own doing or another's—that they won't be able to come out the other side.

So this is where I am now. I am trying to embrace the fact that my children's lives are not about me, even if mine often feels as if it's all about them. I am trying to make peace with the fact that they have grown up and belong to the world at large now, and I will never again know everything, and sometimes I will know nothing, and that is just the way of it.


18 comments:

  1. I don't know a single mother who would fault another mother for trumpeting her own children. To me, anyway, you do it just right. You share your happiness in a way that makes me pay more attention to my own, rather than some of those blogs out there that look like magazine photo spreads. You capture imitable love and not inimitable perfection. Yes. Keep doing it.

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    1. Vesuvius, I so appreciate this, and I so appreciate you. Thank you, sweet friend.

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  2. I think you do fine. You don't seem to overdo. They seem beautiful and interesting, and they are that, right?

    That description of lonely and odd, it is so familiar.

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    1. Kristin, i think sometimes we are the same person. xo

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  3. I think there is some kind of backflow valve that keeps a generation from telescoping back on itself. You are the apple of your mother's eye, but she had to let you go out into the world. Your children are the apples of your eye, but you've had to let them go out into the world. And when your children have children, guess what? Yep. Our children will always be the center of our universes even though we will not always be the center of theirs. And that, my dear, is just the way of it.

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    1. Nancy, way to put it in perspective! Yes, I understand my own mother so much better now. And you know what, she still years for our presence! This is a lifelong proposition, this pass I have arrived at, and I better get busy making peace with it fo' shizzle (as my young 'uns might say).

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  4. I hold no truck (is that the expression) with those who say one can over-praise or be too triumphant about one's children. I am so grateful for all your crowing over the god and goddess that you birthed. You keep right on doing it, and I will keep right on oohing and ahhing over them. I will also learn, a bit, what's in store for me as my own boys grow up and beyond.

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    1. Elizabeth, i am so grateful for your generosity where my endless fascination with my children is concerned. as the mother of endlessly fascinating children yourself, i suspect you understand.

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  5. For me that has always been the hardest part of being a mother. That line between absolutely being there for my children and being...crazy.
    I have always erred on the side of too much and possibly because I was never given enough. Who knows why these things happen? But all I can say is that we do what we can and we do it because we love them and thank god for fathers who take us by the shoulders and say, "Enough."

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    1. Ms Moon, we are similar types of mothers, aren't we. We are lucky to be traveling this path with good-hearted children and good-hearted men.

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  6. wherever they go, whatever they do, and whoever they're with, you're always a part of them. and they always know their way home.

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    1. Candice, and they know the door is always open. thank you, friend.

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  7. One day your children will fully realize how very much you love them. It is a beautiful thing to see. You can never love your children too much and letting us/the world know about it is just more love. Sweet Jo

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    1. Sweet Jo, i think i did not understand how much my parents loved me until i had children of my own. i expect my own children won't grasp it until they become parents themselves. thank you for this beautiful comment.

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  8. I agree. You can never love your children too much. But I totally understand your struggles with letting them go. Sigh. Totally.

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  9. The way that you love your babies makes my heart swell with love for you. It is the way that things should be when done properly. It is how it should be. It makes things right with the world that I want to live in. I know how hard it is and your final sentence, " I am trying to make peace with the fact that they have grown up and belong to the world at large now, and I will never again know everything, and sometimes I will know nothing, and that is just the way of it." sums it up so perfectly. It feels imperfect and yet, it is just the way that things should be when we have done our job just right. Because they CAN do it without always having to have us know. Even though we would love to.

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