Friday, April 10, 2009

Time is False

I feel oddly jealous of both of my sons, due to their ages, all in front of them that's already behind me, choices, excitement, learning, the rushes of Being Young! If I could somehow really communicate to them how much I want them to BE IN THESE MOMENTS -- because suddenly I blinked, and I'm almost 50, and it starts to feel like all the doors are either familiar or closed, or I already went through them, and it's so HARD, ever, to be surprised or thrilled in those ways specific to their ages. But I didn't know it until I was already beyond it & none of that can happen for or to me again, not that way, where everything feels like a FIRST still, and not a recurrence that my mind, without asking, runs through all its experience filters & dilutes, categorizes, analyzes, shifts, hones, until it's just another piece of information that I file in my mental library, like a footnote to the Big Main Event that already happened years ago.

A photo I saw today, a movie still of Javier Bardem and an actress in the throes of unbridled hubba-hubba? Recalled for me the depth of my old impetuousness, the once-upon-a-time imperviousness to consequence; it was NOW-THIS-SECOND that held all my attention -- & I don't mean just in relation to unbridled hubba-hubba -- I'm talking unbridled life. I do hate that I'll never 'have' Javier Bardem. I hate more that all those blasts of firsts are mainly over for me. I hate that I have a mental library because sometimes I don't want the extra awareness or checks or balances; I simply want FEELING!

My male children are there where urgency & immediacy are the crossroads under their feet, and no one can conceive of the words to tell them it all may turn out differently than what now is showing them, than what they 'know' in their beginning place. I want them to be ravenous, insatiable, TO TAKE BIG BITES, like wolves, to digest it all in raw juicy chunks & not think about regurgitation, examination, until later.

But the Mom in me? Eesh. She frets, she wants to pave the way, steer, point everything out, direct, warn, protect, counsel, caution, advise. All of that is a distraction from their journey. They have mistakes to make, their own stones to roll, their own doors to open and/or close. I can't do it for them. Or, really, with them. I have to recede, watch in anxious silence, unless they're threatening themselves with stupidity. I have to balance where I am and what I know with distance from where they are and what they are learning, are meant to learn. My lessons suited me. They have other lessons to learn. I can guess at some, knowing them as I do. I can listen, I can stay at the ready for when they seek & ask, want to talk, want to deliberate, evaluate. I'm not less but differently needed.

My life, lived as a woman, puts me already at a remove from them; but it also makes me a Pandora's Box of ideas & insights when it comes to the women who enter their lives. They've both already tapped into my willingness to talk about any subject, bluntly, openly, to say what I feel but to allow them to have their own sensations & responses, and to draw different conclusions. They both know, I think, that I want them to be who THEY are, not who I am. Or was. They are my sons for the rest of my life. They are themselves for the rest of theirs, and being my sons is only one aspect of those selves. ACCEPT. ACCEPT. Give what I have an abundance of: LOVE! Say it, say I'm proud, say I'm excited, happy, confused, concerned, whatever is appropriate and real to what they're doing as separate individuals. And take the hits when they begin to analyze me as a parent. Say, "Yes, I screwed that up" or "Yes, I did a good job there." Own all that, without owning them.

Kevin is 18. EIGHTEEN. David will be 22. These are not children, anymore. But they are MY children, always. I'm learning how to play that, but they give me help. They show or tell me, mostly INdirectly now, but then they're both in the throes of separating themselves from me as a parent, a ruling entity, an influence. They have to dismiss me in order to establish their own footing. I have to let myself be dismissed gracefully & graciously, without allowing them to put me in absentia. I AIN'T gonna go away.


Holly said...

Anything that rests deeply in the heart never goes away. Ever. And, while we change as we grow, and how we may view our relationship to anything and anyone, what is true and valuable remains so. Toni, this is some beautiful sharing you did here today. I'm honored to have read it.

beth said...

THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL AND FABULOUS AND FUNNY AND FROM THE HEART....and in case I haven't told you lately, I heart YOU!!!

I'm right there with you sweetie...100% on all that....especially the "I ain't going anywhere" ....I think since our children are the same age, or close enough, we so often feel the same way !!!


and ummmm, I won't even go there in this space in regards to javier...and I am GETTING that movie no matter what !!!

Eternally Free Spirit said...

Hmm I'm 26 and can't figure out how to get my mom to let go a little. She is still a bit overbearing and doesn't want to let me make my own mistakes even though that's the best way for me to learn. Tips?

I know she just wants to protect me, I know she loves me, and I thank her and respect her for all that but...I want to be able to live my own life. When I was a teenager (pick any age of teen) she tried to control who my friends were and what I wore. I never did anything promiscuous or drug related and never would have. we've run into a problem.

I don't feel comfortable talking to her about several things and...we no longer practice the same religion. We haven't for years. But instead of just letting me be happy she's making me miserable by shoving hers down my throat every chance she gets (esp now with Easter being Sunday). Got any tips for how I can get to just let me live my life?

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

I pray for the grace and wisdom that you have so beautifully shown here, when it is my time to walk this path.

And, I'm with Beth, I totally heart you too!!

cinner said...

Toni, this was absolutley beautiful, Do your boys read your blog, I don't have children but can feel for what you are going through and trust me they will always need their mom, and I envy you one day you may have grandchildren and their is nothing like a grandparent. Those are new beginnings. you may think you have to be on the sidelines, I think they will keep you closer than you will know. It is beautiful how your words seem to flow so easily.Not everyone is as lucky as your boys.

lee said...

I to am willing to talk about anything with my daughter. I feel like you a deep protectiveness and yet want them to grow up and be self sufficent. I love your writing from the heart keep it up

b-luv said...

i just STUMBLED onto your blog and i am ever so thankful! wow what great posts!!!


C.M. Jackson said...


I so understand--where did it all go and why is it so difficult? I don't have children, but imagine that it initially adds to the ennui as one thinks about time and age.. Somehow, you will find your space and place and continue living as you always have. As for myself, while I wish for the time afforded youth, I don't necessarily want to go through my 20's or 30's again;-)

Keep on keeping on--go for it!

soulbrush said...

gosh i do feel for you, I have been through this completely. my 2 sons are 33 soon and 38 soon and still they are my 'boys'. i remember very clearly what it was like when they 'separated' from me. and all i could do was be there for them... and go nowhere myself...but i did find this very upsetting in some ways, as my previous twenty years just seemed to amount to nothing!!!!but we are great friends and they love me and always ring me even if they are too busy to see me. also having my granddaughter has brought us all closer again. hugs for you friend.

Carla said...

Wonderful insights, and so true! Just this morning, 5yods asked me if the peeping stuffed chick that came in his basket had batteries, and whether he should save the batteries by not making it peep all the time. I told him to make it peep as much as he wanted and not to worry about the batteries. Don't save it, use it all up, I said. I wondered as I was telling him this if it was really the prudent thing to tell a 5yo. But I don't care. I don't want him to save the peeps for tomorrow or another day. I want him to enjoy the peeps RIGHT NOW!

Pamela McCarville said...

How beautiful.

First: I want you for my Mom!!!!

Second: How does that happen, you turn around and suddenly there's 50 in the future rushing up. And yet, I don't feel 50, but then what does 50 really feel like?

You have very lucky children.

Kathy said...

Oh Toni! So compelling. So bittersweet. You are a magical writer! Thank you for your honesty. Thank you making yourself vulnerable! What you wrote was a gift! A powerful gift! Thank you!