It’s been a long time since I spoke about mothering. Mommy blogs as a genre seem to satisfy their purpose once a child has become an adult. And yet, I am still a mother. With two sons, I’ve experienced everything twice. They each left for college but came back for holidays and vacations. Then they each finished college and set up nests of their own.
This last time handed me a gut punch I wasn’t really expecting. After all, we had already navigated long stretches away from each other, serious girlfriends, a pandemic separation (when we all agreed they’d be better with Dad in Maine then with me in NYC), and weekly phone calls that became more occasional. I’ve learned I cannot control their day-to-day health and safety (much less my own). I understand not only that I’ve given them all I could, but also, that they are fine humans whom I trust completely.
However, I had those moments, maybe you’ve had them too, where you look at the young man before you, and perhaps the light shifts, and you see a flicker of them as the small child they once were. And then it’s gone.
I know, I know. It isn’t Monday. I also know that I didn’t post on Friday. I was rerouted by a wonderful visit from my Mom and Dad, then my sister-in-law, her husband, and her two kiddos (under two years old) showed up. Needless to say, there was no peace or quiet but there was tons of fun. The 20 month old fell in love with our yellow lab. First word out of his mouth each morning? “LUCY!”
With all that was going on: parades, beach, playing outside, weeding gardens, going to baseball games, grocery shopping, laundry… no internet happened at all. No blogging, no email responses, no twitter and absolutely nothing wrong with that. It was great to get a break from the computer. The world in front of us and all around us is the one we must inhabit. Still, as a writer, the worlds I build in my WIP’s often seem as real, and as important as those flesh and blood settings in which I reside. A part of me needs the solitary activities of writing and drawing.
This makes me think about the upcoming summer months. Writing definitely has its rhythms. I write more in the October to December, and January to April season then most of the rest of the year, but I’d like to work all year long. I pulled my kiddos aside last night at dinner to discuss the fact that Mom still wants to work even when they are out of school. Did they have suggestions about how we would manage that? The conversation quickly refocused on them and whether or not they were old enough for jobs in town so I never got my answer. I’m curious, how do those of you with tweens and young teens make time to write in the summer?
At home today, waves of thunder and lightning crash outside my window. In the quiet space in between, the rain beats on the shingles, and birds twitter and chirp. My house is dark and calm and silent. Dog is snuggled on the rug. I am revising.
I am sitting in a cabin in Caribou, Maine and it is raining. It is raining, and my son has an ear infection. My son has an ear infection which should have been gone 24 hours ago because he is on day 4 of a 5 day anti-biotic. It is not gone. He is tired and crabby. He is tired and crabby and we are in Caribou so we can drop him off for a week of sleep-away summer camp. I do not want to drop off my baby when he is crabby and possibly still sick.
My Mama brain is of two minds. One. Go to the ER. This may be some mutant drug resistant infection. OR two. Relax and give it time. My son will probably wake up in the morning cheerful and happy and well.
Okay. So writing this made me call the ER here in Caribou where, because it is Caribou, the nurse talked to me and said, "Give it time."
This is me trying to take deep breaths while watching my child sleep, and willing him to get better so he can have loads of fun at the camp that he’s been anticipating for months.