Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Tie That Binds

My mother hasn't spoken to me for two months. I don't know why. There was no inciting event of which I am aware, but that doesn't mean something didn't happen that she perceives as such. What I do know is she is not a happy person right now. The reasons behind this really have very little to do with me--as far as I know--but the fallout of her misery has reach.

I'm new to this mothering thing. She is a veteran. I have babies and hope. She has grown children that remind her of her failures. It's sad to watch, and scarier to contemplate.

Today Number Two fell asleep on my chest during a nursing session. His head rested in the crook of my arm while his midsection lay heavy on mine. He was a soft, sleepy weight. I tried to relax in this moment with my loving and dependent baby, but all I could think about was the fact that I am giving up our newness with each passing minute. Soon my two children will be out of this stage where they know they need me. Reality has already begun to take over where there had heretofore only been hope. They are no longer newborns, infants or wobbling toddlers. They're the realization of my dreams. Here's why that's scary: hope is all good; reality is good and bad.

Once my mother was like me. She loved her little baby. That baby was her chief interest. Then the baby grew up and suddenly it was hard to see how closely bonded they had been.

There's always something between a mother and her child. When a child is born, the connection is not figurative. There's the cord, then the breast, then arms that hold tight and easy in the absence of resistance. But babies grow and go. Still, there's that connection--this time it is figurative--which finds its strength in shapelessness. Sometimes it's so hard to see and feel that you'd swear it was no longer there. It is, though. And it's working harder than ever to do its job.


slouchy said...

ugh. i'm sorry to hear this. relationships between mothers and children can be so...fraught.

Momma Hunt said...

I am so sorry to hear about the fight between you and your mom. I think that things like this become harder when you are a mother because you wonder how it cold happen.

For example my husbands mother and father had a falling out with her brother and literally said some of the most awful stuff to him and his wife and stopped talking to him for a long time. This harshness really began to weigh on me now that I am a mom because I can't imagine doing those things to my little boy who I hold and hug all the time.

My thoughts are with you during this really rough time!