Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mommas and their boys…

There's a special bond between mothers and their sons. It's something almost tangible. It’s something I’m going to try and describe for you.  This may be one of the most honest and disturbing posts you ever see from me. I’m baring my soul here and making myself vulnerable to the scrutiny of virtual strangers. Be prepared, it’s emotional and raw.

You won’t hear me mention my oldest son much. Not here, and not on Facebook. It’s not because I love him less or am less proud of him than I am my youngest. It’s because the relationship has been so rocky, and because I often feel the need to protect his privacy as an adult and not embarrass him by sharing his life with the world.

Today, I’m going to share with you what I feel free to say about my baby. My sweet boy, who even though he’s almost nineteen, even though he’s six feet tall and 260 pounds, I still look at and see a little cherub faced angel who calls me mommy.

When I think of my oldest son, there is this ache in my chest. We’ve been through so much together. I was a baby myself when I had him. At just nineteen, I didn’t have a clue about life, about motherhood or about sacrifice.

I had no job, no car and I left his dad when I was only about six weeks along in the pregnancy. I was a child raising a child. I was a child who thought she had all the answers and finally had someone who would love her, no matter what, and never leave. I would never know until later how wrong I was about both of those things.

In his younger, more formative years, I wasn’t a great mother. I was self absorbed and immature. Sure, I met his physical needs, but the emotional ones, the ones that would come to matter so much later, I was oblivious to. I often wonder if I hugged him enough, complimented him enough or told him often enough how much I loved him.

From day one I sheltered him from consequences and ignored bad behavior, always thinking that I was advocating for him. I left him often with friends and family while I went out to experience the world that I had also been sheltered from.

It wasn’t until he was nine, when I had married and realized I was pregnant with J, that I turned myself around and made the effort to be a truly good mom. By then, though, I think it was too late. The damage had been done.

The end of my relationship with J’s dad was a turning point. Though he often found it difficult to admit, D was crushed. His off and on relationship with his dad, and the disappearance, with no explanation, of a step father who also abandoned his little brother, had taken its toll on him. At only ten years old, it left him cynical and angry and nearly incapable of trusting any male figure in his life.

I tried so hard to repair what was broken. I just couldn’t do it. The damage was so far ingrained in him that it couldn’t be removed. Because I was closest to him, because I was the one who was always there, he directed those feelings at the only available person – me.

To this day, he still bears anger and resentment towards me and blames me for everything wrong with is life. I taught him that he didn’t have to take responsibility for his actions by rescuing him every time trouble came his way. I taught him that men were untrustworthy by sharing my opinions with him and inviting men into our lives who weren’t worthy. I taught him that women should be treated poorly and not be given respect by allowing men to treat me that way. I taught him to be pissed off at the world and to treat it like it owed him something.

But, I loved him so much and he loved me.

When we reached the teen years it all went to hell in a hand basket. At just thirteen, he was already as tall as me and as heavy as me, and he was a fighter. The most strong willed child I had ever encountered, the most intelligent child I had ever encountered, was about to turn all of that on me and honestly, I think I deserved it.

I’m here to tell you today that there’s no one in the world who can hurt a mother the way her son can.  There’s no one in the world that can break her heart the way her son can.

Now that he’s an adult, I often wonder if he knows how many times I stood in the door watching him sleep and cried over him. I wonder if he’s aware of all the sleepless nights I had, worrying if he was going to be ok and wondering what the hell else I could do to fix him. I wonder if he knows how much it ripped my heart out to make him move out this fall and tell him he couldn’t come back.

Until J came along, he was the person I loved most in the world. I don't love him less now, it's just that he shares that place with J. He was my constant. He was my person I could count on to be there, if for no other reason than he had nowhere else to go. What a huge responsibility to put upon a little guy.

I love that boy in a way I’ve never loved anyone else, ever. When he’s mad at me and won’t talk to me I have this unbearable ache. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could have a re-do for those first nine years of his life.

For all the things that were ever wrong, there are also a million wonderful things too. He fought for me the same, if not harder, than I have fought for him. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He would give me the world, if only he had it to give. He comforted me when I cried as well as I did for him. He grew up with me. He’s smart, he’s funny and he’s talented. He’s been my sunshine on a bad day, my rock when I was on shaky ground and my pride when I had nothing to be proud of.

He’s my little boy, my angel, my heart and my world and I keep hoping that someday he’ll be able to put all of those little boy hurts away and become the man that only he can be.

I love you kiddo, even when you think I don’t. You’re my pride and joy, even when you think you’re not. You’re my angel, even when you’re being a devil.




  1. Wow. Your honesty is brutal and beautiful. I am also the mother of 2 boys, whom I also had at an extremely young age. They are 15 and 14 now, and I credit my husband, their father, 100% for the way they've turned out. If it had been myself alone, I'm terrified of what they would be. I'm commenting under a different profile because there is a post on my anonymous blog called "mother me darkly" that you might be interested in. You commented on my post from the Red Dress Club today, so I am here returning the love. I am so glad I read this, and you have no idea how much respect I have for you, even though I don't know you, for posting this.

  2. Sorry, I forgot ;) I'm not trying to pimp my blog or anything. I just think you should know that you're not alone. There are many of us whose hearts ache for what we cannot change.

  3. Thank you so much! By all means, pimp that blog, girl! I would! :)

  4. Definitely not alone. If only life came with do overs.