18 February 2009
About now it is my oldest son’s 32nd birthday in his time zone (Eastern), not mine.
I can just imagine how much little that means to you… We all have ideas we hold fast to, and one big one for me was that my children would esteem me and be kind of like friends with me, once they grew older, matured, had been out on their own for awhile. Hasn’t happened quite this way between my oldest and I.
There’s only so much regret I find I can live with. A few minutes ago I was playing another round of Mahjong Solitaire, which I’m addicted to, and gave up that particular hand at 134 points out of the winning 144 points, well because, it was time to fold. Did not give up, but rather gave in, gracefully, I might add. Whatever.
I like the use of this word – whatever, that has erupted recently. It can seem too casual, but there’s depths of emotion down deep (gad, the alliteration here!). I do care, greatly, that my son doesn’t have the manners to thank me for a birthday present or holiday present that I’ve sent him. I care when I don’t hear from him on my birthday. And it hurts so much I picked up a book at the library about mothers and sons, yet can’t seem to open it up.
So I fold. I resent, I feel bad, I miss the little boy and the grown man, and the relationship we don’t have, and I fold. It’s best for my mental health, my emotional well-being that I let it go, even though the voice inside me asks; have I done something, several somethings, to create bad feeling that he must have a wall between us?
Difficult to determine the truth, and so I fold. I’m learning to let go. To give it up to the universe, let G-d take over, whatever. In my head there’s a picture of a big dandelion gone to seed. I hold it in my hand and gently blow, releasing all those seeds to the wind, just as I’ve released my children to adulthood. Now it’s up to them to create…
Whatever, and I remember the joy and hard work of bringing them to the point of letting them to go free. Kahlil Gibran said it best in his poem “On Children”, at least for me in my experience of parenting;
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
And just in case, by some wild quirk of fate, chance, or heavenly intervention, that beautiful son of mine visits this site, I dedicate this post and the accompanying image to the boy I remember with his curls and self-reliance, who was and is my first child, and in my memory and affection; a royal knight. I’ve learned you can love where memory lingers even though you may not like. So…whatever!