Thursday, October 29, 2009

Writing my truth

Cary Tennis, whom I adore, urges all writers to write their truth.

This is mine. Or at least part of it.

I am a ridiculously over-educated person with rich and various interests. I read obsessively. I think thoughts--gentle, obsessive, wild, hilarious, deep, sad, powerful thoughts. I genuinely enjoy the company of others, although on my terms.

And I am truly awful at playing with or teaching my only child. Right now, we're both home sick. He's downstairs watching TV. I'm up here listening to music and working, a little, but mostly just hanging out online playing SCrabble with friends. I hand down dill pickles, juice boxes and sandwiches. I switch videos. Periodically, I consult on the engineering of a lego rocket. Every once in a while, I read a chapter of Harry Potter. I give him an allowance, but do not use it to teach him the value of money or work--I figure there's world enough and time for that and he might as well have fun before all the shit hits his fan. I bake cookies and give them to him, but rarely give him the chance to help me make them. If he doesn't want to do something, like learn to ride a bike, he generally doesn't have to do it (barring essentials like brushing teeth and being polite).

He and I will never actually do the non-Newtonian fluids experiments. I'll probably tell him about it all and we'll find a joke in their somewhere, probably about one another's brains being neither solid nor liquid, but that will be the end of it.

Is it because I am old? Because I enjoyed 40 years of non-parenthood--and really, really enjoyed it? Am I all dead inside? Lazy? Boring? He seems like a happy kid--he's smart and funny and active and opinionated--and that makes me feel better about the whole situation. Unless it's a mask. Is it a mask? Should I have given him brothers and sisters, even if it made me the world's oldest living pregnant woman? Is it too late? How does one learn to play?

Do I even want to learn to play? Should that matter?

Clearly, cold medicine creates more issues than it solves. Maybe I'll go watch some Harry Potter.


  1. You are his mother, unique and beautiful and his. He may compare, deride, even vilify you for a short time as he grows into an adult. But when you're gone all he will remember is all the wonderful things you were to him, and hopefully to yourself, separate from him. I'm watching this happen as friends of mine lose their mothers. It's sad and beautiful. His childhood is his own, it doesn't need to be like anyone elses.

  2. Hey, Lorraine, I think is the moment we fall in love with Jamie.

  3. I don't play either. I declare that I don't know how. I have no patience building a Lego set: I will follow instructions, but free play? I can't think of anything other than building towers. As they grow older, we do play cards and Scrabble and Banana Gram. But to me, that does not count as child's play. NO board games. I hate board games.