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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The (In)Humanity of Motherhood

Most of you know that my boys are older. These days, those tentative baby steps toward independance have become giant clumsy strides and the comfort of "someday" has turned into the realization of "all too soon".

But despite that, I'm really, for the most part, enjoying the freedom of having semi-independant children. I don't feel anything except relief when I see a young mother pushing a 400lb. stroller and carrying a diaper bag the size of a small frigidaire. I don't miss planning my life around naptimes. I do not remember those late night feedings with fondess.

But I do miss certain things. There was a time when my boys thought I was the cat's meow. They thought I had all the answers. And not just any answers...the right ones. They thought I could save the world. They thought I was invincible, immortal, omnipotent. I liked being adored. I did not like slipping back into the ill-fitting skin of ordinary.

And now, I find, that my children can humble me without the slightest bit of effort or even, sometimes, awareness.

The other day, Pre-Pubescent One and I were in the car running an errand. He was fiddling with my iPod to find a song by Chris Daughtry, for whom he has suddenly developed an affinity.

Out of nowhere he asked, "You think he's hot, don't you?"

Why lie? I thought.

"Yep." I said.

He snorted.

"What???" I demanded.

"Mom. He is SO out of your league."

I made a strangled sound of outrage. "Dude. That hurts."

"You're a MOM" he said emphatically, "You're not supposed to be hot."

"Hey. I? Am hot. I can get guys."

He snorted again and added an eyeroll to emphasize his point.

"Yeah. Guys like DAD".

Gee, that's all right. I didn't need my self-esteem anyway. No really, I was done with it, seeing as how I was apparently rendered asexual by your birth.

Moms of toddlers...cherish their admiration. Because one day, your sweet, adoring child will look at you with embarassment, pity and chagrin. They will push you away, and then return; remorseful, hungering, confused. They will need you, and they will need you to let go. And you will never know at any given moment, which is the right thing to do. Inevitably, you will choose wrong, and find yourself hitting a glowering wall of resentment.

And sometimes, they will say horribly insensitive things without knowing how it twists like a knife in your guts, making you gasp with regret and longing for the person you thought you were; the person who can't exist in the same time and space as mother-you.

Do I really want to go back to the desperate, consuming symbiosis of infancy and toddlerhood? No. I really don't. I just want autonomy to hurt a little less. But I know that it can't and so I arm myself against the emotional arrows so carelessly slung by my children.

Someday, when my sons whisper their secrets to another woman, and walk through life with their hearts clutched tightly in the fist of their own child, perhaps they will see me for the woman I was underneath the motherhood. Mabye they will find a small measure of understanding for the joys and the heartaches of raising them and surrendering myself.

Until then, I exist in a weird sort of sexual limbo. Neither lover nor woman, but only mother. But that's okay. I'd rather be stripped of my sexuality than suffer my children to witness my nakedness, literal and figurative. I'd hate for them to see my funbags and my undercheeks on the cover of every gossip rag when we go to the grocery store. Can you imagine what Pamela Anderson's kids live with?

Then again, I don't suppose they dispute her ability to bag Chris Daughtry.

Oh, the humanity.

16 Comments:

  • At 10:15 PM, Blogger liv said…

    This is right there with the moment when you realize that the adorable young man who bags your groceries as you secretly harbor sexual fantasies about is your friend's son---all grown up.

     
  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    He's hot, she's a flea bag.

    You? are goddess like....But kids don't get that, kids have to learn to appreciate your goddess qualities :)

     
  • At 10:21 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Oh, I'm right there with you, BA.

    My husband keeps warning me (based on his own experience growing up, as well as that of his brother) that my boys will say some shockingly awful things to me when they are teenagers.

    I don't think I'm ever going to be able to steel myself for that.

     
  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    First of all...funbags and my undercheeks? Oh, the images. Well done.

    My son is nine; he's at that point where sometimes he doesn't want to say, "I love you, too." His friends are nearby.

    Then other times he will crawl onto the couch and cuddle up next to me...in front of his friends!

    The changes are hard...but they are also so amazing.

     
  • At 11:49 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    Slouching Mom is right. The things teenage boys say to their mothers is... well, painful. Yesterday my teenage son commented about several of my physical attributes in the middle of his psychiatrist visit. Let me just say that the shrink, an older man, was totally on my side and told my son that he was being cruel. Oy vey, it gets so hard before it gets easier.

     
  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger Carol said…

    Oh man, I can SO relate!

    When hubby was injured playing football today (see today's post), my 17-year old insited he was injured because he's 51. No stupid moves, no tackle... JUST because he's 51! Grrrrr!

    Carol

     
  • At 5:19 AM, Blogger karla said…

    "I don't feel anything except relief when I see a young mother pushing a 400lb. stroller and carrying a diaper bag the size of a small frigidaire."

    Oh how acurate a picture you paint.

     
  • At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    The other day Sean told me "Your wips wook willy dwied up. You should put on some wip stick." I didn't have the heart to tell him that he should steel himself as it was going to get a lot worse.

     
  • At 8:54 AM, Anonymous slackermommy said…

    I just had a conversation similar to this with my sis. We can remember when we were embarrassed of our parents and they were so uncool. I'm quickly approaching this age with my oldest and I hope we can get through it okay and she'll think I'm cool again when she's grown.

     
  • At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    I have a 12 year old girl and a 13 year old boy. The boy can be thoughtless, but oh, the girl, she can be cruel....

     
  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger Amy York said…

    I am not looking forward to those days when my kids become cruel... at 4 & (almost) 6, they are still more sweet than salty. I will savor it as much as I can!!

     
  • At 1:16 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Guys like DAD.

    Oh, that stung for me, too. Because I know it's coming, in time. And because I remember the day when I had similar thoughts.

    You are such a great writer, BA.

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Poignant, funny and fair warning. The joys just keep coming, eh?

     
  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    "Moms of toddlers...cherish their admiration. Because one day, your sweet, adoring child will look at you with embarassment, pity and chagrin.."

    Ugh. This entire paragraph got me right in the gut. Thanks for the wise words yet again, BA. You are sooo my Mother Guru!

     
  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    "Guys like DAD" is a great comeback!

    Oh, you mean my sweet little guy, who has big kisses, hugs and licks for me (he thinks he is a cat), will someday think I am, somewhat, icky??? Say it isn't so!

     
  • At 7:17 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    NOOOOOOOO!!! I'm going to be Normy's favorite person forever and ever and ever! Right?

    Even now as I type he is sitting next to me in his highchair eating "dinner" (Well, he turned up his nose at dinner so he's eating crackers and cold cuts.) Anyway, every few moments he leans over to give me a kiss. If I'm not watching he kisses me anyway, on the knee, the only place he can reach. I just can't imagine him growing up.

    Although, I do look forward to a day unencumbered by the nap schedule. And I REALLY can't wait till the day comes when it'll be ME waking HIM up at 5:30 am. Pay-back's a bitch Normanski!

     

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