Tuesday, June 10, 2014

beach glass

It’s been a while. There have been so many stories. But, they are not all mine to tell. There has been my story- a mother watching, a wife waiting. But even that story, right now, is a mountain that seems insurmountable.

The winds of change are opening the windows to whisper new truth- which as softly as it seeps in, strangles my heart. And, at the same time, it propels me forward to keep fighting, as mothers do, to problem solve- to find answers- to kiss the wounds.

My son has struggled. For a long time. He is older now. But he is so fragile. Fixing his problems no longer means providing a distraction, a present, a carrot to lure him away from places of self-doubt. It no longer means that my words are the gospel- just because I’ve been on the earth longer. Honestly- though I struggled in my youth in my own way- I have not had to scrutinize my intrinsic identity as he now must do in order to arrive at a place of self-acceptance. How can I really know what he is feeling? My empathy does not inspire his trust that I know what the hell I’m talking about when I try to assure him, It gets better. His acceptance of and peace with himself, with his identity, with his awareness has to come from within. But, oh how I wish there was a magic wand.

One night he sent me a message via text: Why do you love me? Because I’m your son? Maybe you love who I used to be and you don’t want to let go.

I gave him a list of adjectives describing the qualities I admire and enjoy about him. But he threw them back- doubtful that they could be true because he felt like he was being sucked into a fathomless darkness. I told him:  You are going through a rough time- it’s unsettling for you right now. But just like the jagged pieces of a broken bottle on the beach- after you get drawn into the water, tossed around a bit- smoothed out by experience, time, understanding- you are going to be an amazing piece of beach glass.

He used to comb the shoreline as a child- in that hunched over shuffle- looking for the best pieces of beach glass. Holding each piece up to the sun- admiring the way the color was further illuminated. 
An illustration from when he was much younger.
We are on a path now-toward healing, toward helping him live an authentic life. I will continue to walk along beside him. I love him for everything he is, of course I do. I knew when I brought my children into the world that I could not place them in a mold and expect them to stay put. I knew I had to be open to their perspective, their interests, their sense of self. I have hope enough for both of us. He will be the most glorious piece of beach glass.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Amy. The beach-glass analogy was spot on and quite touching. I just caught, out of the corner of my eye, your blog's name drift by just before I was about to click to another page. I'm glad it did.

    My Mom had told me about this blog of yours - and that she really enjoys both your writing and your illustrations. I now can see why.

    As I too am a writer, I recently started a blog of my own.
    Lots of pure-stream-of-consciousness musings, interweaving the odd song lyric or two into whatever arcane little observation happens to drift down from the ether and pop out the end of my fingers.

    On occasion, I opt for a more straightforward story-telling banter. But I love just letting myself go off on the little tangents that reveal themselves as I'm exploring some other bigger point.

    Here's the link ... hopefully you'll find some little nugget in there that will give you a laugh, evoke some long lost memory or maybe just a silent ... hmm ... interesting.


    Cousin Peter

    ps would be open to any constructive criticism - from one writer to another - you would care to share