Thursday, June 27, 2013

Show me a mother and I'll show you a liar

Mothers are liars. We are. We say there's nothing to be afraid of, we say there aren't monsters, that things that go bump in the night are nothing to be afraid of. Thunder is angels bowling, we encourage the belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny, we say having an imaginary friend is okay, that words will never hurt, that it will all be okay in the morning... mothers are liars.  And what are the alternatives?

There are things to be afraid of and I can't kiss it make it better. I can't wrap my child in cotton batting and protect him from all the evils in the world. It's not right and not fair. He's 20 years old and should be an adult and ready to battle evils because he's a grown up, right?

Motherhood is hard. There's no handbook or instructions. Oh there's plenty of things we are NOT SUPPOSED to do, obviously but what about all the grey areas? How do we handle those?

We lie because it's an act of protection, really, a way to preserve innocence, to stave off the hurts we know life will hand over someday. Then it happens- our child becomes wise to our game. And we are no longer the center of his universe. Anyone with a child older than 15 years old knows that moment when the jig is up. We have been discovered. Now we're given the evil eye. We're the enemy. We're no longer the sun but just another star. We can't fix everything, maybe we can't fix anything. And the things that need fixing are big- bigger than our mother magic- and we have to sit idly by and watch.  We call this a time of letting them make their own mistakes, of trying things on their own, of earning trust, of giving them enough rope but not letting them hang themselves.  It's really just a time when the monsters are bigger the words are meaner and the child is smarter.

I have no conclusions nor answers; readers can come to their own. Nor am I looking for any. Right now this is the stuff straight out of my brain, unfiltered, unrated.

Being a mother is hard and it never ends. And no matter how many lies I told, sometimes I wish it were that easy now so I could use my mother magic and make the monsters go away and the words not hurt.

If it were only that simple,


Curley said...

Very profound. Beautifully written.

Jimmie Earl said...

battling the trolls under life's bridges is hard. For a parent, it's a job-without-end. No, there isn't a training manual, we are expected to write our own.
Very well done, Maggie. I'm sure there's not a mom out there that doesn't agree with you.