Monday, May 09, 2005

Mother's Day

Another Mother’s Day and the papers full of schmaltzy stories of great mothers and the great relationships they have with their children. I always wonder about those stories…Perhaps because I know similar ones, or should I say dissimilar ones. For example, I can’t mention the name, she (the daughter) once wrote an essay saying that the one person she so deeply admired was her mom. Her Mom had studied overcoming many obstacles and still managed to make their family life easy, blah, blah. The usual clichés. As soon as her Mom committed the great fuax pas—can’t mention what that was either—she turned her back on her. Of course, now they have come together again. Perhaps because her mother wasn’t willing to sever ties… Another story, “My mom is the best, blah blah …” But the young woman feels a lot of resentment. “She treats my sister better than she ever treated me…” I guess those stories in the newspaper are intended to make readers feel validation. Or perhaps they're intended to convince people that the nuclear family works when Mom is willing to give it all for her children: You've heard the spiel: Mom's are all giving, have no life beyond the call of motherhood, are selfless etc. Yet, they hide the underbelly of the dragon, the tortured relationships between mothers and their children. I like to think I have a fairly sane, stable relationship with my son. But I suppose it could be better. Maybe that will come later when we can see each other as confidantes. We do some of that now. It once seemed as if Helen Reddy’s “You and Me against the World” was our anthem. But ever since someone else entered the our family life, the song no longer works. I suppose he must feel alone in his own world, now that Mom can no longer be an accomplice, not entirely. I myself have an uneasy relationship with my mother. I guess it might be because we are so different! And yet, my husband says we are so alike. Ironic, I guess how you struggle all your life to be unlike some one, some specific person and then you end up being just that person. A cautionary tale, I guess. In this case instead of beware of what you wish for…turns into beware of what you don’t’ wish for… And then how does she feel about me? But I won’t go there.

So who is the person I would most like to be like? I don’t know. I wasn’t lucky enough to be surrounded by role models I wanted to emulate. Certainly I admired qualities in some people. I wanted to have like the gift of gab. Definitely a quality to strive for. There was also social conscience, environmental awareness, political savvy, a fast and prodigious wit. But you don’t often find all those qualities in one person. Of course, there’s also wisdom and intelligence. My husband has those qualities. I want to grow up to be like him and then some more. Always unsatisfied. Who said “satisfaction is death”? Always wanting more. I once wrote a poem about satisfaction—included below---but for me the state of satisfaction is always temporary. Although I no longer yearn for “another place, not here”(yes, an allusion to Dionne Brand for those who know her, and those who don’t) I still long for other things, not material necessarily—I think at times that I’ve got too much of that already—but other things, things to still the existential angst. And now, can that be silenced?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Creo que el dia de las madre y de los padres deben ser eliminados del calendario. Estos dias se han convertido en una excusa para regalar algo. Cada vez que se acercan estos días me da stress porque conseguir algo chévere es difícil especialmente en mi caso donde mis padres no tienen muchos hobbies. ¿Acaso no se dan cuenta las personas que regalar en este día es un tanto forzado? Yo espero que para cuando yo tenga hijos (de aquí a cincuenta años si acaso) estas celebraciones se hayan eliminado. No es que no quiera a mis padres. Lo que ocurre es que cada vez que llega el día e intento escribir en la postal algo, lo único que siento es culpa por no haberle dado a mis padres lo que enrealidad ellos aprecian, un poco de tiempo y cariño.