Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vaguely Sad

It's a beautiful, sunny Spring day. This kind of weather always makes me feel melancholy. Maybe it's because it insists that I go outside and be happy, and as I seem to do when anyone or anything insists on something, I opt for its opposite. I've heard there really is such a thing as oppositional syndrome.

Or maybe I'm sad about other things. My son, for example, is so often irritated by me, and it makes me sad. I cannot be anyone other than myself so this dynamic, which has been true for most of his teen years, is unlikely to change. We have moments of breakthrough, fleeting times when we are close and sharing our hearts. But those moments are so fragile. Always, I end of up making some innocuous-to-me comment that annoys and shuts him right down.

He is 18 now and basically a good kid. He's responsible and smart and in his own way driven. His temperament, ironically, mirrors mine more than it does the easy-going, shrug-until-you-can-do-something-about-it temperament of his dad. But my heart aches to have him under my roof and know that he will be going away again in a few days, and yet I can't reach him.

From the sidelines, I watch him with his friends. I interact lightly and laugh with the group of them, unable to truly connect with my boy. I do love his friends. One of them calls me Mom, and I adore that. I also love waking up in the mornings and seeing them sprawled across the couches, asleep and looking like the tender boys I once knew them to be. I realize their mothers miss them, too, when they stay over at my house. But I am glad my son feels comfortable hanging out in his own home. That is something.

At times like this, I thank God again for my daughter, who is so loving and so connected. Even when she is fighting to get her way about something (and often winning, I might add), even when she is challenging me on a position she doesn't agree with, she never withdraws her light. Somehow, by her very way of being in the world, she manages to make her tough yet fragile mother feel unconditionally and consistently loved.

Why am I crying?? I possess such a treacherous brain chemistry.


  1. Oh don't cry. That's the nature of teenage boys, you know-- he has to prove his independence and his manliness. He's not comfortable in his own skin yet. As soon as he is, he'll come back to you with open arms. It just takes some time. With a caring mother like I know you are, it won't be that much longer before he realizes he can love you and still be a man.

  2. Thank you, scarlethue. of course, you're exactly right. and how things change on a dime. two hours later, everything i wrote about us not connecting doesn't seem quite true. we're having a very good day after all!