samedi, mars 23, 2013

The darkness within

My Palm Sunday column - a little too "you are there" (as I reread it).

vendredi, mars 22, 2013

Born to love you

She's free from me now.

I wonder how she'll like being free, I wonder, as I climb off the sofa , languid, sad, resigned..

It could be that it will be forever.

I try not to think about that possibility.

I see twentysomething mothers with young children, and I marvel at the ease with which many conceive them, bear them, and bring them into our complex world.

You assume -- until, perhaps one day, you find that you can't assume.

Pushing grocery carts with kids strapped in at the Acme, dropping off at the nursery school, showing up for the Parent-Teacher meetings, these mothers (caregivers are still overwhemingly female) make motherhood look easy.

At least on the outside.

As will the moms and dads who show up at graduation in another few months, surrounded by relatives, eyes welling with sentimental tears.

My daughter's high school experience, as I said to her dad this morning, has been hell.

Hell for her, and hell for us.

She eats alone in the cafeteria, I heard.

What is there to celebrate, except for the (and I should be happy) fact that she doesn't take drugs, hasn't gotten pregnant, and still has dreams?

She seems precocious -- and naive at the same time, said the counselor who had met her.

What will she do with this freedom?

Liberty -- from me?

You still love her, said another friend.  You're just defending yourself right now -- because, again, and again, your heart has been broken. Loving her feels like a weight around my legs, my head, my heart.

But not loving her -- that's not an option.

Will anything impel her to reach out a hand that has, more times than not, been used to slap me down?

I dream that someday she will discover that freedom isn't all it's rumored to be by her peers.

And I wonder if that's true -- and how long I will have to wait to find out.

dimanche, mars 17, 2013

When kindness matters

Who said you were  a bad mother? asked a friend a few nights ago.

Was it someone on Facebook? Did someone send you a message? Call you out publicly?

Sheepishly, I had to admit that no one had.

But you're thinking it, right?

O.k., so you aren't.

I think it enough for everyone -- even the people who don't have time or interest.

After all, what kind of woman decides she won't have dinner with her daughter -- or buy her daughter new clothes, or take her daughter out for coffee?

One who has spent 18 years in and out of guidance counselor's offices, paid out big bucks to educational psychologists, paid for endless theater camps, hired tutors.

One who has bickered and quieted and wept until she thought she was barren of tears...

One who has walked around in a cloud of grief for months, at her wit's end.

Thank you, my dear friend, for helping me see that it's o.k. to set a boundary.

That it's not awful to get some distance right now.

That there IS something wrong that I can't fix, as much as I would like to make it all better.

When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? she asked me.

Perhaps it is now.