Quote for my day
“God knows that a mother needs fortitude and courage and tolerance and flexibility and patience and firmness and nearly every other brave aspect of the human soul. But because I happen to be a parent of almost fiercely maternal nature, I praise casualness. It seems to me the rarest of virtues.”
We have three children, three boys…7, 8, and 16.
Being a Mother is the most important, biggest project/work, I’ll ever do.
I don’t see it as work, they are no burden to me.
All three make me so proud of them everyday, by being
the strong-willed, hard-headed, big-mouthed, compassionate, caring, open people, they are right now.
What I do have problem with is separating my own childhood
experience from theirs.
My 16 year old has decided that he still wants to be a part of this family,
but does not want to live with us anymore.
We have enrolled him in the same Job Corps program in Astoria, Oregon, that I went to and graduated from…And his biological father, too.
Being that it is the best of all the centers, in a wonderful government
(did I say wonderful and government in the same sentence….Check that)
program that when I was “in” in the mid 80’s, was a program that was filled with Juvie-Hallers (judge sent them there instead of jail), runaways, the throw way’s and the *homeless.
(*I was in that category at the time)
I made it, by the skin of my teeth…But I made it, and went on to be able to continue my education, and create a life…And then children.
I am proud and grateful of and for the program, because…Well it got me off the street, gave me food, and a bed and taught me how to be a “productive” citizen in this reality/world…How to work within the social parameters, they “finished” raising me.
Never in a million years could you have ever convinced me that I would someday be sending my own child into the program.
The entire system has changed, and it’s not all the “bad” kids that go into the corps program anymore….It is still populated with young people who for whatever reason in their lives, can’t do what they need to do in this world to make it, after they are out on their own. They are the system buckers, and the disadvantaged…and still some will be throw-aways.
I have spent 18 years working hard to give my child/children everything, every best part of me, and I find out…
sometimes love just isn’t enough.
So after two years of trying everything we can to be as active, pro-active and reality based as possible with our oldest…Fact is, he just don’t want to live with us….He still wants to be a part of the family, but not a burden…You know with all the parenting, discipline, not letting him smoke cigarettes or pot, not letting him quit school so he can make skateboards and sell dope for a living…And do all those things…And still live in my house.
So when the teenager tells you, “I’m going to do what I want to do, and you stepping on my neck or being involved in what I do and don’t do…Will just make me smarter and sneakier. So, you’re gonna have to deal with it…I want a family, but I don’t want to live by your rules.”
It has never occurred to me…To say,”well don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out buddy.”
perception is Reality.
Knowing that he wasn’t going to make it here, with all our expectations and requirements for being a human being in this house…We looked into alternatives for his continued education for life…Military school, Drug intervention clinics, Brat Camp…And Job Corps came out on top, as the best, safest, closet thing to living in my own home….That I could get. It surprises me how intense the feelings are about him leaving…I was 16 once, and I had no one, not one thing that I couldn’t carry in a pocket…And I was “saved” by this program.
But I didn’t have a choice.
He wants to go, because he thinks it’ll be better than having to live here…Anything to avoid being accountable for his own actions.
Now he has decided that, because he is under lock down restriction, for being caught (by me) for not only smoking pot but going into a business with his “friends”, and me ending that partnership.
So, he has been on restriction…Wow…It’s horrible. He still has a room, and all his stuff… And food and people that love him, and are trying to help…At school and at home…And the counseling…
He asked me to emancipate him yesterday.
He can’t wait for 3-6 more months to get into the Corp, being under restriction the whole time.
He was sorry after he said it, but he said it anyway.
He then went on to tell me,
that he did not want to be a burden anymore…So we should make our lives better, by letting him go.
Emancipation my ass.
Self-centered, selfish little creep!
I was standing there…Looking at him…And I was swept away
by my own inner tide.
into my past.
This can’t happening after I have worked so hard,
so hard to give,
grow this human
and change my world by being a
I was going to make it all different for my kids,
they would never be touched by the pain of not having anyone.
I can love them.
I don’t own them.
They don’t own me.
I am still a human being with
I can’t change that.
I am not defined by my role as a mother,
just as they are not defined by being my child.
This one…The oldest…He has always been…
I figured that out last night…There has always been this invisible line…
he is mine, and the other two are, too…But I share them with their Father…He has always been around, and they have never known a life without him.
My oldest and I made it on our own…
for years without him.
Lived through and beyond my illness, and cancer, and being a Lesbian, and being a business owner, and having a crazy fucked up family…At the time I was not yet fully an Orphan, and the fiends that I had in my life, while he was a young one…They were our family.
They were crazy, and wild and beautiful people…
we lived through watching them leave…One by one.
AIDS claimed 4 of the 6 in three short years time…Uncles of choice, gone.
The other two people…They just left…On their own accord….Awkward in their
in their leaving and not saying goodbye first…Just gone.
For this reason, he has always been My Kid.
A line I did not see until yesterday.
A line I did not want to admit or see or know.
A line that I erased.
He is not mine.
He is his own.
We are not going to be
and for me it’s a crushing blow.
Perception is Reality.
I did not fail.
He is choosing this path, and forcing me down it.
I want to fix it, make it better, make him understand,
but he is
I can’t turn the light on for him.
He may be
on his own
While I turn over my own past and try to clear my mind of old haunts and terrors…I have to remember that he never had any of those experiences with
I have done my very best at every turn,
of his life.
I still have work to do…On being able to separate him from me…The me today…The Adult
and the little
Living in this moment sucks.
Mate Man and I
are depressed, and sad.
We feel dread at the upcoming conversations that we are going to be having.
We both feel strong about being
respected in our own home.
It’s not something I am willing to be flexible on.
I demand it.
From all the humans that are inside these castle walls of
mine…They have to respect me…Or I can’t live with them.
I can’t seem to bend that way.
I live with respect
and compassion for
so I expect it within
my own walls.
I am the parent
you are the child,
So in closing…My day is going to be one of
Going with the flow…And swimming harder…Upstream.