Mother and Child Reunion…

You hope and pray you’ll do it well – But only God and time will tell

their first breath – that moment when

your life begins all over again

completely blind and ignorant of

what lay in store – except the love

such love not imagined – all encompassing

one day you’re you – now they’re the thing

that wakes you, feeds you, and fills your dreams

the good ones, great ones – in others you scream

you give them all you have to give

and though you know better – for them you live

the minutes to hours to days just fly

they coo and giggle and laugh and cry

the months and years show on your face

“please don’t go” – now – “give me my space”

you gently fade from their day to day

you open the door – you show the way

for them to taste and see anew

the world once filtered – made safe by you

you know it’s time – they feel it too

to let go of the strings – the both of you

and as they pushed and pulled away

your heart wished, once, for yesterday

when you helped them climb – watched them fall

saw them rise and push through it all

you’d let their lives envelope yours

you were the keeper – you kept the scores

of their battles won – challenges met

their struggles to come – those not met yet

you know it’s perspective and balance you need

to nourish the tree – not just the seed

you understand and search for the middle

the line that answers motherhood’s riddle

but the balance you missed – was in not knowing

it was your duty too  – to keep on growing

into the woman – not just the mother

you could be both – not one or t’other

you were just a girl when they came to be

but womanhood stalled for the mother, you see

the trusses you built from that balance not found

kept the woman at bay – shadow bound

so focused were you on their little lives

you forgot to sing – to keep alive

that woman in you you’d set aside

so mother shined while the woman tried

to remake the bed already laid

the woman you could be – the mother you made

in the wings she’ll stay – that much is clear

the woman’s hidden for the mother’s fear

that this bed of weeks – without a word

is that woman’s fault – their wants unheard

but it’s mother who pays this price so daunting

you’ve been weighed and measured – and found wanting

now silent tears drop to mommy’s breast

’cause good’s not enough – your best not best

your youth – a down payment – not the sum

and that number will rise for years to come

the life you gave matters not on the whole

now’s what’s important – their happiness you stole

by not staying that mother to them and to theirs

trying to figure it out – but no one cares

You’ve seen women do it – be both – not just one

that mom of the year – and – that woman so fun

but you are found wanting – and that must be the truth

for you allowed her to die – that woman of your youth

in favor of the mother you thought you should be

now the mom-ster you created shall not be free

to live the life that you once placed on hold

so that others could flourish – in happiness you molded

so – woman repent – to the shadows you go

and the mother you are must pay penance to show

that as long as you live – as long as you breathe

your life is for them – it’s what they believe

You hoped and prayed you did it well – but only God and time will tell


On this, the one year anniversary of the loss of my father, my Superman, I cannot help but reflect on the relationships I have and have had, in my life.

As humans, we embody the word dichotomy in so many ways….but the number one in my book is…we are as simple as we are complicated.

We all begin the same way…simply…we are born.  Yet the simplicity ends there and the complications begin.

Our relationships.  Simple yet complicated.

We love simply, yet that same love, complicates everything.

This post:  A simple plea for an end to the silence…and a look at the complicated life of a woman as mother and mother as woman, and where you go from here…

If you don’t know…you’re in good company, for I don’t either.

To be a mother is a lifelong commitment, of this I have no doubt.  But at what point can the woman come out from behind the curtain with the expectation that the child will see her, know her, for the woman she could be underneath the mother she is?

At what point in her life of being daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…can a woman who mistakenly set herself aside, reasonably expect to fix that mistake of self-denial, with their blessing instead of their resentment for putting herself first?

My guess would be…not today.

At what point in a child’s life did they forget all she did…so as to remind her of what she’s not doing now?

My guess would be…today


 

So…it is time to say what I want to say and hope it’s heard and felt:

They say there is a reason

They say that time will heal

But neither time nor reason

Will change the way I feel

For no one knows the heartache

That lies behind my smiles

No one knows how many times

I’ve broken down and cried

I want to tell you something

So there won’t be any doubt

You’re so wonderful to think of

But so hard to be without

Simon says…

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away…

(header photo credit:galleryhip.com)

26 thoughts on “Mother and Child Reunion…

    • Ever get tired of climbing Mim? Seems there ought to be a day when we reach the summit before the next mountain appears. I’m resting, right here, right now, and if there’s more climbing to do…then this is my suggestion that a certain someone start climbing. I’m a little tired. Thank you though…It’s good (shitty) to know you get it, and I’m pulling for you as well. When you reach the top, stop and rest, like me. xoxo

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  1. That was, SB, one of the most heart-rending, honest poems I’ve read in years. There is so much pain in here, and so much humanity. I can’t fathom what you feel and see, or what they do, and where you all are now, or what you’ve given up for them (and the stuff they don’t see), but I feel the weight of it. It’s in every word of this incredible poem. I hope, whatever today brings, that it allows you to be who you are, always were – and that they are happy with that.

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    • NB…honestly, you’ve reminded me, yet again, just how incredibly attuned you are to the emotion of the written word. This was a difficult write in that I didn’t want to come off as whiny or self absorbed or that I expected motherhood to end when they walked out the door. There has never been a day when the happiness and well being of my children were not a priority in my daily prayers, nor a time when their need was great that I wasn’t there…but my job was to give them the tools and the knowledge to use them…the handbook doesn’t say ‘call mom’ under troubleshooting…it says pick up the wrench and get to work (then it says…you can call mom for moral support if you get stuck, she’s pretty good at talking you through it) The stress of being ‘the unforgiven’ for a woman who has never forgiven herself anything…is hell. This is me climbing out. Or at least, trying to.

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      • You write something like this, and I feel every word. There are very few people out there who write so openly – so much stuff out there is kind of esoteric, a bit shrouded (mine included), but you’re not that. You’re there.

        You ever need help climbing out, you just ask. Seems like such a deep dark pit… but I know you will be out, and I know that you have a right to be out.

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        • I’m glad you’re there NB, for the simple reason that I trust you…I often wish I could express my feelings less obviously, in a way which could be taken a hundred different ways when read by a hundred different people…but I cannot. There is no mystery to me, in my person or in my writing, which feels more like diary entries than poems or stories. I guess that’s why is often so difficult because I know I cannot hide how I feel with cleverly hidden meanings or writing between the lines. It’s not easy being see through 😉

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          • And I wish I could express my feelings clearly… and can’t. At least in writing. In person, no problem. But I’m a writer, and what I feel personally and how I feel it never makes it onto the page. It’s always about someone made-up, or some odd version of me that’s not me… like a line of strangers. This doesn’t actually bother me, but it’s odd.

            I give you so much credit for being see-through… you could not imagine how much.

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  2. Amazing and powerful Rhon. You have captured the true essence of mothers for all of time I suspect. Not rewarded for choosing one more than another nor rewarded for finding a way to exist in between – to do the impossible and make it look not just possible but easy. You found such an importance crevice of truth in all it…and so so beautifully found a way to say it…I am in awe of you – this piece is beyond …. xoxo

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    • Thank you Bon. Another stage of womanhood / motherhood that our mothers never told us about…perhaps because it’s not easy finding the words to put to the feelings OR feeling they had no right to express them at all? I struggled with this…how to lay myself open so that they may see how their expectations affect me and how, at some point, they need to see that while they still have all of my heart, they cannot reasonably expect to still have all of my life. That I understand it is I who is to blame for putting myself aside in the first place, but it is time they allowed me to change that….xoxo

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  3. I don’t know how you found the words to express these feelings. I think you speak for all women who have had children. You aren’t alone in feeling this way – it really is a confusing and difficult thing to think of yourself, find yourself, as a person outside of being a mom. I think we need to find joy in the changes in life as much as we can, by maybe working more or taking up new interests, so the changes aren’t so hard on us. I think that helps our kids see us as separate as well – when we express joy in our lives that doesn’t center on them. And hopefully that will help our own daughters some day, when they deal with these feelings too.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and words, Rhonda. Each piece is so beautiful. I hope you are well. xo

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    • Thank you Kelly. I had a flash of a thought reading your comment and found myself considering, as I often do, the differences between raising daughters and raising sons. I can only reflect on my experience at being a daughter since I have boys…and also, as an only daughter with 3 brothers. With all of that, I definitely see differences. And frankly speaking, the biggest one comes later in life and revolves around expectations, which, in my opinion, lead me down the path to believe it was perfectly okay to prioritize everything in my life but myself. Not because I saw that in my own mother…but because the expectations of me vs those of my brothers are vastly different. Obligation is the word that comes to mind. I’ve always felt it…more than felt it…lived it. It’s only recently that I’ve seen that others’ expectations of me is a direct result of this sense of obligation, meaning I allow and accept the way things are, and how it’s affecting my relationships now with the brothers and the sons. It’s my own fault, yet it’s not. It’s difficult to speak out and not sound like a whiny or bitter child. But to know that I am expected to….regardless by whom and regardless for what….has become intolerable.

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      • I completely understand and feel the same way. There are definitely differences in expectations placed on males and females. I feel it in my own family too. They expect me to fill certain roles and if I don’t, they think I’m being too independent or something. You don’t sound bitter – you are just expressing your feelings on something that is felt by many women. And I’m glad you and I and anyone else feeling this way have the opportunity to talk about it! Have you addressed how you feel to your sons and brothers openly? And I know you are aware, but make sure you are taking actions that demonstrate you want to take a stand on this and make some changes – the actions always speak louder than words, and can help you avoid hurtful words anyone could say to you. Just stay the course with what you want to do and they will have to accept it. I’m going through that in a way with my son right now- he doesn’t like the time I put into writing, since I’m writing so much more at this time in my life. It competes for his attention and he gives me a hard time over it. I have to tell him I’m not at his beck and call all the time! But recently, he has been more respectful and accepting of things, and knows it’s something I do that is separate from him and necessary for my identity, which I have explained to him repeatedly. He’s almost 16, and it’s taken a year to get this far. My daughter is much more supportive of me – so I guess that tells me I have carried on those expectations in my son whether I was aware of it or not.

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        • Thank you for sharing that Kelly. And I’m sure because you’ve already seen this trend between you and your son, by the time he’s ready to leave the nest, he’ll already have a pretty good idea of who Mom is outside that role. I’m glad for you there…wish I’d have seen it sooner. Maybe I couldn’t have changed it overnight, but one thing I think I would have recognized, had I seen it in myself…and this is tricky but…I’d have (looked for) recognized it in his choice of mate, who already had a 5 year old son when they married (and now a 2nd son). Looking back and more so now…I DO recognize her as someone who is going to have tremendous problems later on with her two, but I also see she’s the catalyst behind my son’s expectations. I think perhaps because her identity is so wrapped up in her sons, she believes mine should be as well. In my son AND hers. Without that honestly, I think I would be in a different place in his life.

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          • Well you understand it perfectly and so now you just need to put a plan in place for managing the situation so it doesn’t get the best of you – don’t let it! Sounds like a tough situation all the way around. Deep breath, one day at a time – you can change things, and sometimes that means distancing yourself from toxic people for your own good.

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            • My DIL and I have begun the conversation, though my son is still silent. I want her to understand that, when she is unhappy, my son is unhappy, and will do whatever it takes to fix it. In our case, it usually involves getting mad at me for not being available to ease her stress, or their stress as a couple. I’m hoping she will see, through me if not herself, that as a mother she’s more than capable, strong and confident, and the time is now to take those attributes and apply them to her life, her own marriage, outside of her role as mother. In seeing herself differently, I believe she’ll see me differently.

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