I’ve been the kind of mother who is a pain in the ass to all authority. I once wrote 2 pages of instructions regarding my daughter’s potential haircut. After handing them over to the salon owner I proceeded to burst into tears. She did not get her hair cut that day.
Oh, yes, I am a fucking freak.
In my defense, I have had fine, straight, brown hair my entire life. My daughter has magnificent blonde curls. How can she possibly be mine?! If you fuck with her curls, if you even tell her she should straighten her hair, you awaken a wildebeast that slumbers inside me.
There are other issues at play. My sister-in-law gave my son his first haircut without my permission. I came home from work and his hair was trimmed. If I’d thought the police would take me seriously I probably would have filed assault charges.
I was forced to wear a short pixie cut with bangs my entire childhood. My reactionary response was my daughter’s hair grew to her ass. When she was little it sometimes took us as much as an hour to get the tangles out. I will skip the details about getting lice twice. Let’s just say, I am an honorary monkey.
But as much as I adore and love my daughter, my son is my moon and stars. His father died when he was a year and two days old. My father died when I was ten. It made me doubly psychotic with regard to protecting him. My focus was nuclear and that is probably part of why he now lives in California. He was cognizant of the fact that I was living through him even before I was aware of it.
For over three years now I’ve been blaming a majority of my wack-a-doodle brain frack on my brother Jim’s death. This morning I realized OOPS!
Yes, I’m sad about my brother but he lived across the country all my adult life.
Yes, I loved him like mad before I ever knew my kids would even exist, he was the one thing in my family I felt good about, that I was proud to be associated with.
I will love and adore that little boy forever, the one who drove my mother insane with his antics, breaking her prized possessions and gleefully telling her to go fuck herself.
But I realized this morning that the real earthquake in my life occurred when my son grew up. There is no preparation for losing the love of your life. And say what you will about him still being there, my little boy is gone.
I judge my self-analysis on one thing only, whether the thought that pops into my head makes me cry like a fool. Well, I can think about my brother and laugh, remembering all the good things. When I think about the fact that for all intents and purposes my son is gone I lose my shit.
I compare myself to friends whose sons are dead and I think I’m a dipshit for feeling this way. But I can’t dispute the fact that the hole in me, the one that grew into an abyss in childhood, was filled by my son. Suddenly I had a family, I had someone to take care of, someone to play mother bear to. And I did. I had a purpose for the first time in my life. I hung onto that purpose like a lifesaver from the Titanic.
Then he left. It would appear I should have transferred all my attention onto my daughter. Instead, the old shit came back.
After my father died, then my grandmother, the two people who loved me most in the world, I was a mess. I moved to California, I got pregnant, and then that fucking guy died.
It didn’t even make any sense for me to give my heart away again, but I did. I gave it to my son. And then I gave it to my daughter.
Although I’ve given the girl more love & adoration than many people get in a lifetime, sometimes I wonder if I’m slacking off because she has a father.
Today I began to wonder if it’s because I want to leave before she leaves me.
The complete & total devotion I’ve felt toward my childen was the one thing that made me proud of myself. But recently I’ve been focused on me and surprised by my selfishness, ashamed of it.
Now I think it may just be survival instinct. My chidren will always be my heart. But I need to make room for myself in there.