Apr 3, 2008

How To Be Happy/Barren

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.


FreNeTic said...

This is so touching, for real.

Michelle Auer said...

Can you actually play that giant guitar or is it all for looks?

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I think it's for real, but there aren't any 40-foot tall rock stars in Seattle to play it. Unless the Fremont Troll counts.

Snotty McSnotterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.