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Thursday, June 11, 2015

The joy and anguish


My daughter is having so much fun in Rome now, and she is working hard too. She had no idea how much writing would be required. She had imagined gallivanting around the city and turning in a poem or a story every so often, but no, they have to complete several distinct pieces every single day. But everyone's in it together so it's not so bad. I asked her if she thought the intensive approach was improving her writing. She said, not her writing so much as her ability to write on demand.

Her childhood friend who spent a week with her in Rome, who is back in New York now, told me that the apartment my girl shares with seven others is huge and light filled and beautiful. I also hear that my daughter and some of the girls in the program are going to Capri this weekend.

It's fascinating to me how as a mother, I can derive such keenly felt joy from what my children are going through, almost as if I am experiencing it myself. I can also be anguished by what happens to them. Like what has happened with my son: He injured his knee playing soccer at camp yesterday. He is ON CRUTCHES and may need an MRI. He has self-diagnosed a torn meniscus. It looks as if he will now have to defer his FDNY appointment for medical reasons. All these months he's been at the very peak of physical shape and the week before his physical agility and endurance test he injures himself. So long he has waited for this chance and now he will have to wait and reengage with  uncertainty some more.

My daughter texted: "Maybe the universe doesn't want him to join the fire department just yet and decided to send him a big fat message." I couldn't help smiling because her sentiment reminded me of the Bill Nye video Mrs. Moon posted the other day. And yet, thinking of it this way is the only thing helping me to put this is perspective. It is not the end of the world. It is a setback. That is all. The main thing now is for my boy to take care of that knee.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, that is such a bummer. I totally relate to this intense relation we have with our children -- the ups and downs. The downs are all the more DOWN, though, for our powerlessness in changing them. I wish your boy quick healing and a speedy return to his plans.

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  2. Sorry to hear of your son's injury. I hope he heals well.

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  3. Yep. I think of that old saying, "If Mama's ain't happy, nobody's happy," but it should also include, "And if the babies aren't happy, Mama ain't happy."
    We go through it all with them, don't we?
    Unbelievable about your son. Jessie's already had two knee surgeries. Her daddy had two while he was in college. I'm so sorry this happened NOW. Good Lord. What bad timing. And who knows? Your daughter may be right about the Universe. Bill Nye doesn't know everything.

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  4. Someone (a co-called friend of mine) let my daughter down last week and boy, she's off my list now. It's one thing to bail out on me, but do it to my kids and you'll hear about it.
    Sorry about your boy though. What a pain. Literally.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your son's injury. I hope he will be better soon. Your daughter sounds like she is having a blast though with hard work to bear. I'm not a mom but it sounds hard.

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  6. Oh dear, the pain in that knee. But he is a healthy and very fit young man, who seems to know what matters, it will heal quickly. I know that as a mother it can hurt a lot more. What am I saying, it DOES hurt so much more and in different parts of our bodies and souls, too.

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  7. Your daughter's Rome experience continues to sound amazing. Too bad about the knee. I like your phrasing about "reengaging with uncertainty."

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  8. I'm so sorry for your son's setback. I am reminded of Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey. It seems that the things that are most important to us don't come easily.

    Oh to be young and beautiful and in Rome! That does sound like a substantial amount of work required, though. I'm glad she is having a wonderful time.

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  9. It sounds like your daughter is having a wonderful time, even with all the writing assignments! I am sorry that your son had injured himself. I hope this setback will even bring bigger and better things for him!

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  10. Absolutely. My world is better for seeing my girl rollerblade with abandon, and worse for seeing my son insecure about who his true friends are.

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