Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Mother's Pain

Last Mother's Day, I received an iPod from my wonderful husband children, and I quickly set about trying to make up for all the years I was held prisoner by my children's musical tastes. Thankfully we escaped the Wiggles craze by the skin of our teeth, but I had my own cross to bear in the form of a leering purple dinosaur.

If you have an iPod, you know that iTunes will make recommendations based on music you've already downloaded. Since I'm still kind of a neophyte when it comes to popular music in the new millenium, the suggestions are welcome. I often find that they are very accurate in matching music to my taste.

Recently I downloaded "No Rain" by Blind Melon on the sage advice of iTunes. I immediately liked it, and I've played at least seven times in a row every day for the last week. Then I watched the video on YouTube, and found the lead singer very charasmatic and compelling in a quirky and eccentric kind of way.

I was sold on Blind Melon and decided that I needed to find more music by this band.

Imagine my surprise to find that the lead singer died of a cocaine overdose 12 years ago.

12 years ago I had a brand new baby (my first) and my focus was on sleep, keeping my breasts from exploding in public, and keeping my infant alive, which, at the time, seemed like a ridiculously tall order for someone as obviously as inept as I. The point is, popular music was about as low down on my list of priorities as intercourse.

So, though the Bee girl did spark a curious deja vu, and though I'm sure his sad and sordid demise was reported on the news, the name Shannon Hoon meant nothing to me. Thus, the information passed through the internal filter that rejected anything not immediately pertaining to sleep, boob expolosions, and the care and feeding one very small and very helpless infant.

For for some reason, I was inordinately and inexplicably bummed out by the death of some musician I wasn't even aware of a week ago, and who has not been on this earth for eleven years.

Indulging my natural tendency towards nosiness, I Googled (funny how that word has become part of our cultural lexicon) his name and began reading.

I was immediately struck by how descriptions of him were eerily similar to how I would describe my youngest, spirited Diminutive One.

Now, I'm a writer, and as such, I have natural predilection for artistic exaggeration. But I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that the hair on my arms stood up as I read, and a chill slithered down my spine.

He is described as being larger than life, as having an expansive personality and an insatiable appetite for things he loved. He lived a life of excess, not just in terms of addiction, but in every respect. He was, by all accounts, a born performer, a natural and undisputed frontman. He was his own man with his own ideas.

These traits, though they contributed to a kind genius that is still talked about by other artists, are the very same that made him difficult to be around at times. He could be inflexible. Moody. Uncommunicative. And was impossible to be angry with him. Because, as one of his former bandmates said "Not a day went by that he didn't do something amazing." He was "A tyrant and an angel."

Jesus, what a waste.

I have always felt, with that peculiar brand of maternal presentiment, that Diminutive One was bound for greatness. Because I can't believe a spark that burns that hot and bright was meant to languish in a life of mediocrity. But I have also feared that such a spark can only burn so long before it consumes itself in a catacylsm of brilliance, madness, and voracity.

My Diminutive One is sometimes exhausting to be around, even when he isn't being particularly contrary or defiant. There is such energy and spirit and character to him, that it cannot be sustained unless it feeds on those around him. He can crack your bones and suck out the marrow with his presence, leaving you feeling empty, defeated and diminished.

But there are times that the dazzling beauty of him will lift you higher than you ever thought possible. Those are the times that I fear for him the most, because I fear the loss of it with a cold, icy dread.

I think Shannon's mother must have been ripped apart by his ignoble death. Surely someone who lived so enormously should have died in the manner set forth by the heroes of our childhood. Surely someone such as he should have exited in a blaze of perfect, dignified, sublime glory. But I think that perhaps she expected it, like she probably also suspected that he would be not leave this world without having changed it.

It's a kind of pain I hesitate to imagine, and one that I can't help contemplating.

I guess that's what it is to be the mother of a child like that. We hope for the best, expect the worst and try like hell not to wish away the moments that may be all too few.

If you have a Spirited Child, I want to tell you...don't waste time wishing for what can never be. Your child and mine will never be the quiet one, the well-mannered one, the "good" one. Celebrate them for what they are, in all their bigness, because living small is not in the cards for them.

And we, as their mothers, can only watch and hope, and sometimes guide. It's a deep ache to be sure, always wondering what will become of them, but it's also a sweet pain knowing that whatever comes, it will not be ordinary.

Our children will make their mark on this world.


  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    We need spirited ones in this world. We just need to somehow teach them to use their powers for good and not just fun. Excellent post as always.

    On a side note, I just bought myself an Ipod and I love it. Unfortunately, I'm still not hip or able to dance like on the commercials.

    Another side note, thanks for the Thinking Blogger award-thingee. That was really nice.

  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

    I needed to read those words after the past 3 weeks with my spirited child.

  • At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, you're one of "those" momnies", lol.

  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger Rachelle said…

    Wow... incredible insights. I can relate both as a mom of a spirited child, and as an iTunes addict. And I SO know the amazing feeling of being liberated from my kids' musical tastes!

  • At 3:10 AM, Blogger Suprise! said…

    As the mother of a spirited child (who has Asperger's Syndrome *AND* ADHD) this took my breath away. I will be sending a link to this to about a dozen people who factor greatly in my daughter's life, and I know it will resonate with all of them.

    Thank you for putting my thoughts into such eloquent words.


  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    I'm guessing Steve Jobs is a spirited guy.

    And I suspect my Poo is, also, so this really touched me.

  • At 4:36 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Oh wow, do I ever love this post. I love Blind Melon, have been a fan for years, and I feel the same way about Shannon's death. When I listen to their music, and his words, I wish to god he hadn't overdosed. It's safe to say I miss him, in a non-crazy stalker fan kind of way.

    I think you know Oliver's very spirited, and this post really hits home for me. It makes me feel better about him, it relieves me, it makes me want to embrace his spirited nature...which is what I planned on doing...this post just gives me confirmation, if you will. You know?


  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    I needed this today, as spirited veers to and fro between spirit and aggression. Tyrannical angels. indeed.

  • At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is really good advice. I have an almost 4 year-old Spirited One myself (often referred to as "The Pistol") and I spend a lot of time worrying about how I can get him to be a good listener. Being a good listener is still important, but I should probably pay more attention to the message than his methods. Thanks for the reminder.


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