What and how are you all doing? At this point, honestly, I NEED ALL KINDERGARTENS AND SCHOOLS TO BE OPEN! “Isn’t it nice to have your son with you throughout this Corona-madness? I am alone in my apartment. It feels weird”, my childless friend said the other day. Initial silence and deep breathing on my end. Then we spoke about kids.
I had a feeling before I had a child that I would not become the kind of mom who is passionate about discovering weekend activities for her toddler, who knows who makes the best BPA-free flatware, how to make the best gluten-free, lactose-free-vegan muffins just because other moms think this is great, and I just realized that I have felt guilty as fuck for a while. These muffins taste like eating sawdust anyway. I’m not that mom. But typing this is showing me that I’ve equated being that other kind of mom but loving him deeply. I love my son. In my eyes, he is the best kid on this planet. What I can offer him is different from what helicopter moms offer their children but this is fine with me, too.
So, my son and I had this argument the other day. Quarantine and hanging out 24/7 is getting to everyone eventually; even to a happy 6-year-old who loves to play by himself. He yelled at me that he does not like me anymore because I did not want to continue building his Lego Hidden Side University after doing so for two consecutive hours. I love Lego. It is fun. Actually, I got this Lego-university partially for myself because it is so awesome and I can secretly play with it when he is in bed. We talked about it. We spoke about how he felt and he was better after. He understood that mom needs some quiet time, too once in a while. He apologized and said he did not mean to say what he said and that he will always love me. Be still my heart.
Part of unconditional love necessitates a level of maturity, and that maturity is governed by an understanding that even if he thinks he does not like me, he is stuck. With me! Forever! And what a gift it is to be stuck with me who loves him so unconditionally that even when he cries and screams, I get down on my knees, pull my arms out wide and leave them open until he is ready for an embrace. This thought let my inner-victim slowly but surely melt away. I chose to have a child almost seven years ago, which makes me responsible so I will make the best out of it. I am here and will support him no matter what.
In the last three Corona-weeks, I got a deeper understanding of my son. His sad sides, his sweet sides, his concerned sides. All sides. Even more than before. The more I accommodate exactly what he wants, the less likely he is to learn that necessity to either figure out how to get what he wants all on his own or to make do with what he has got and manipulate it to his advantage. #donotnegotiatwithterrorists
I want him to understand that I will always give him love, curiosity, and confidence. That I will guide him intellectually and emotionally. That I want him to simply be and feel stable. Content. Even in this crazy time and beyond.
I am familiar with change and its way of aligning itself with seminal life moments and I can completely empathize with his range of emotions. I know him so well that I can read him like a book.
For all of us, life ticks on. These days, I have a tendency to gaze at the seemingly greener grass on the other side of the fence. I am trying to fumble my way through this respective situation, while just doing the best I can. There is a natural ebb and flow. Sometimes I am close, sometimes I am not-so-close, and sometimes I may be downright distant. But it will pass. And kids will be in schools again. Time will move on.
And my son will grow older. He will understand things better. We may drift apart – who knows, and then just as easily, drift back together. But, through all of this, we are part of the same sphere, part of a greater whole, and always there for the other, albeit with a little navigation. I know at some point I will find myself standing on the shore, waving and wishing my son a safe passage. And trusting to always find that bridge that will connect us.