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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Motherhood

"Listen to this," my son said, reading from his phone. It was something he found on the inter webs: "One day your parents put you down and never picked you up again." For some reason, contemplating this made me brood. My son won't let me take pictures of him. The one above is months old. Usually, he grimaces and scowls when I raise my camera so I point the lens  at him less and less. He walks through the house in all his sleek crackling athletic glory and I snap a photo with my mind's eye. It will have to do. I go back and try to find the moment in mothering him that makes him so prickly with me sometimes. Down that path, I find a multitude of moments I wish I could do over. But that's like wishing I could still pick him up and carry him in my arms.

My daughter's glory is if another sort, radiant, laughing, light pouring off her. Perhaps she is simply more forgiving of her mother or maybe it's that we don't at this moment live together because she's away at school most of the time. Besides, our children's personalities are distinct, there from the time they were born. My girl and two friends since seventh grade and the Oliver Scholars summer immersion program met up with some fellow scholars last night. They're all 21 now. The nightlife of the city has finally opened up to them. My daughter lets me take pictures of her. I try and try to capture what I see when she walks into a room but I always come up short. Still, I'm grateful for how good natured she is with my attempts. Here's a snap from last evening, a little blurry, but so her.


7 comments:

  1. Our enigmatic children, who are we to understand them, we are only their mothers. But maybe you can recognise yourself a bit in your son's prickly mood and grimaces? He is right there, close to you. I am sure.

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    1. Sabine, you are so right. We joke all the time that we are so very alike. That's probably why we sometimes are like sandpaper with each other. But yes, he is here, loving and loved.

      Thanks for this.

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  2. Maybe he is still struggling to feel separate and independent. Being open to your love might make him feel too young. If so, I think it will change as he feels his own life away from you solidifying. So much for amateur psychology :) All I know is that I am still changing and I am almost 60.

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    1. jenny_o, I think your amateur psych is textbook, actually. We get on better when we don't live together, and yet he chooses for the moment to live at home, and I am happy to have him. xo

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  3. I think that both Sabine and Jenny_o are correct. Oh, parent-child relationships can be so fraught.
    They are both incredibly beautiful human beings and they will love you fiercely forever. As you know.

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    1. Mary, the one thing I do know is that as fraught as our relationship can get, he loves me and wants me to be well and will do what he can to ensure that. The rest is just, well, personality. Mine and his. Love you woman.

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  4. My son won't let me take pictures of him nearly as often as my daughter allows me. It drives me nuts too because it's my way of keeping a piece of him at every stage. Time goes by so quickly with them. You have a done a wonderful job Mama creating these beautiful and talented individuals. He'll come around eventually. I think someone else had it right when they said he's still trying to define his independence.

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