Photo: Oren at the Science Center with the loudest thing on Earth, and a big guitar.
I often wonder how my kid will remember me. Will it be accurate? Will he only remember the shitty stuff? During my pregnancy, I suffered from what I call 'baby blindness'. This affliction is common in all pregnant women, and usually results in deflated expectations. For most of my fetus-hosting career, I blindly thought about what life would be like with a baby. The fantasy usually included skipping through sunlit fields, and an Oscar speech that thanked only me. It didn't include sleepless nights, decreased interest in personal hygiene, or whooping cough; it also failed to mention the inevitable break-up with my son's father or the weight I would gain. But that's in the past, and I guess there's a reason it should stay there.
I've never liked being a mom. Or rather, I've never liked being someone's mom. YES, he's amazing, brilliant, funny, huggable; yes, he is the most fantastic kid that ever lived, and I'm proud to be his mom. But being a parent and having a kid are two different things; currently, I have a kid. Having a kid is like being someone's godparent--you love them unconditionally, but mostly because you only do the fun stuff. Being a parent--quite frankly, it's uncomfortable, panic-inspiring, and unpredictable--the weight of it can be crushing. The guilt of feeling like the weight of it can be crushing is claustrophobic. It's a double-edged sword. In the movies, moms are warm and loving, a firm hand, an exasperated sigh; these moms do laundry, and walk the dog, and help with homework. That kind of person is an alien to me. The responsibilities involved with being a parent, the overwhelming huge-ness of it all--it's frightening. Sometimes I love my son so much, it's almost obscene; I feel something close to shame for how physical it feels, how much my heart can hurt with love for someone. Sometimes I resent him for ever existing, and the shame I feel from that burns the same. Usually I just miss him, but think he's better off without me on a daily basis--I can barely handle being around myself every day. Being a parent is like being a tightrope artist; horrific and exhilarating. Every day, it is confusing, inspiring, amazing, and awful. As a parent, I am never in control, because that isn't the point. But as my son becomes a man, I can feel that invisible (and probably non-existent) grip I thought I had on him diminishing. And because it feels natural to hold on to what is mine, I want to squeeze harder. I want to tell him everything I know so he's not unprepared for this fucked-up world like I was. He should know that growing up sucks, and that some girls are bitches, and that education is important. He should know about loss, and addiction, and depression--because with his genes, he's probably going to need it. He should know about real friendship, and good driving, and decent baking--all good things that exceptional men usually know about. But if I tell him, will he listen? And if he listens, will he understand it? And if he understands it, will he remember it in the future? These are the things I worry about. These are the things my parents worried about, and their parents, and your parents. I worry about his past, present and future, and wonder if I'm hurting him in ways I will never understand; I'm a mom, and whether he lives with me or not, that's just what moms do.
This blog just solidifies my goal of getting neutered.