Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Best Magic

A warrior Goddess friend of mine posted something a year ago on Facebook about her mom and gratefulness and how sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be a freight train. It runs through my mind several times a day, every single day; it's often how I picture my life. Me, standing, frazzled, hair blowing all around me as I desperately jump out of the way, narrowly escaping the lightening fast and roaringly loud steam engine. It has pros and cons. Sometimes it's exhilarating, often times exhausting. There are two things I know for sure; first, if it's for my children, I will face down that train every day for eternity. And, secondly, each time I have a close call I'm going to look over my shoulder for my mom, every day for eternity.  She's there and she isn't.  While I'm a devotee of the spiritual, I am, at the end of the day, a tactile person, I wish I could still touch her, sometimes feeling her around me isn't enough.

My mom is the spiritual center of my life, she's everything magic and everything spooky. She's involved in a lot of my parenting decisions, both as a touchstone for things she did so amazingly perfect and as a warning bell for when I get angry and yell or lose my cool. She's with me when I parent from sentimentality and when I have a clear moment of knowing my parenting outgrew hers long ago. She was pure magic and magic is as scary as it is amazing, mine is probably more diluted at its best but less stinging at its worst.

My kids are the tactile center of my life; they are the single most real thing I do. Every moment, every decision, every lapse, every triumph has to do with them or some aspect of their lives. I've written in the past about how time moves simultaneously painfully slow and devastatingly fast. I've become hyper aware lately about how fast it's moving and how little control I have over it. Every second seems to leave me standing next to a train a moment removed from certain doom waiting for the next one to come at me. I'm working very hard to be conscious of every moment, to live it, to enjoy it, to savor it.  One of the parts I'm savoring right now is the time I have left with Aidan before he moves out on his own, there are a few days when I don't enjoy working together but there are many more days when it's an absolute pleasure, I just like him, always have. And so, as is my (mostly) annual tradition, his birthday letter.....

Dear Aidan,

You're 20, a completely inconsequential age, and I've spent the last several weeks figuring out how the fuck that happened. I am not kidding you when I say I feel closer to your age than mine. Just wait, it's the craziest thing I've ever felt. I remember when I turned 40 and Grandma said to me, "You can't imagine how strange it is to have a kid who is 40. I don't feel very far from 40." She was, as usual, right. 
I want to tell you that I love you, but you know that. What I don't know if you know is that I like you. If absolutely pick you for a friend. I think you're funny and articulate and kind. You are truly the funniest person I've ever met, no one is as quick witted as you.  I think you spend too much time molding your behavior around how the people you love feel instead of how you feel. I think you're an amazing brother and your sisters are better for having been brother'd by you. You have handled your struggles with grace and maturity and you are constantly teaching me things about myself and about the world. I wish you weren't so anxious but at the same time there's no one better to have around in an emergency. I worry that I rely too much on you for help around the house and with your sisters but at the same time I know that, if you decide to have children, you will be an amazing dad. I hope you have kids because the moment you do you will have an entirely new perspective on how much I love you. I remember very clearly the morning you were born, I saw my mom in a whole new light. You were such a bridge in our complicated relationship, I don't think I've ever thanked you for that.  Thank you.  She loved you fiercely and it was so fun to watch. You saved me from myself, I was a little lost before I had you. You saved my brother's life, your birth saved his life in a very real way. Thank you for that too.
I hope that we will always be close. I hope that we will go to super hero and sci-fi movies together when I'm 95. I hope that I will be 95 and that you won't lose me at some ridiculously young age. I hope I get to be your kids grandma until they're adults. I hope I get to introduce them to Harry Potter and Marvel and Star Wars and sushi with you. You are the very best of everything I've ever done, my best magic.
I wish you a very happy birthday.
Love,
Mom






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