The Union Recorder

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
Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
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
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"