MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Community News Network

May 9, 2014

On Mother's Day weekend, things I wish I taught my son

Because every woman has, or has had, a mother — and knows, if only through stories, her grandmaternal forebears as well — to become a mother is to step into a hall of mirrors. In its most essential state, however, motherhood involves a single, mutual reflection. You could even see the word "mother" as the contraction "m'other": me attached, permanently yet not inseparably, to a resoundingly significant other; from the child's perspective, the collision of my with other.

Just after my first son was born, a friend called because her preschool daughter was in that phase of longing to hold infants as fervently as preschool boys long to ride on tractors. Mid-conversation, my friend turned to her daughter and said, "I'm talking to Baby Alexander's mommy!" An electrical charge passed through me, as if those words, once applied to me in the third person, cast a spell invoking countless promises, fears, fantasies and, inescapably, illusions to be shattered.

I was two months shy of turning 40. Like so many nick-of-time mothers, I hadn't meant to wait so long. That I came late to this ordinary human condition led me to feel both irrationally proud and profoundly fearful. I'd had a solid decade in which to observe all the friends who became parents in a more timely fashion; like an anthropologist, I'd taken note of things that could go wrong, habits I admired and missteps I was certain I would never make. I also believed that because I held within me a war chest of life experience — lessons learned, losses endured, battles won — I would be able to share it with my child early on, as if I could spare him from learning, on his own, what it's like to fall, fail, lose badly, win gracelessly, seek the wrong friends, hurt feelings, make stupid choices under pressure, wallow in grief, live through heartbreak, gather a lasting regret or two; and then to face the consequences.

Text Only
Community News Network
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks