Archive for January, 2010

And Then They Are Men

January 31st, 2010

I have been experiencing growing pains as of late, the pains of watching my boys grow into men.

Yesterday was another day of many “OMG when did they grow up on me?!?” moments. The first one occurred when Kid2 and I were walking to the store. He was busy talking about something and I was busy taking many mental snapshots of his facial expressions, body movements, freckles, counting the ringlets in his hair when I realized just how tall he has gotten in the last few months. It was at that moment that I realized, “Wow. In just over 1 year I will never have to worry about getting a babysitter again should I need one if I decide to go out for an evening. I will never have to check with Kid1 what his plans are again should I want to spend a few hours away.” I shared this revelation with Kid2 and he was excited. He has been counting down the days to when he can do more adult things. I however, have not.

The other week, Kid1 realized that he is almost 15. He said to me, “Where did the time go? I can’t believe I am almost 15 and Kid2 is almost 11! It seems just like yesterday you brought Kid2 home from the hospital and a few days later I was asking you to put him back in your tummy.” I laughed while part of me quietly wept as I replied, “Don’t even talk to me about where did the time go. I’m the one that has to watch you grow up, let go and allow you to make your own adult decisions. You have no idea how awesome it is to watch you and your brother grow up yet how sad it is at the same time. If only you could stay small forever.” My children find this strange. They think I should be looking forward to freedom. However, I enjoy being a mom. It is one thing I can say I am truly good at. It is the one thing growing up when I would think about possible careers, being a mom was always the first on my list. I commented one night to Kid1 how I do not find being a parent a burden or a bother. His reply was, “I think you are the only parent who thinks that.” This made me think “then maybe those other people should never have been parents in the first place.”

After coming to the realization that it is only 1 more year before not having to worry about childcare (1 year may seem like a long time but when I think where did the past 15 years go, it will be here in the blink of an eye), I spent most of the night observing Kid2 and soaking in everything he was doing. When he had decided it was time for bed, he proceeded to crawl into my bed as he is not feeling well. I asked him, “What are you doing?” He said, “Going to sleep.” I replied, “But you are in my bed.” He countered with, “Your bed is better right now.” Puzzled, I asked, “How is it better?” He answered, “It just is. Goodnight mom. By the way, can you play a few of my favourite songs for me while I fall asleep?” So I asked him what songs he wanted me to play. I put them on and watched as he drifted off to sleep.

I found myself watching him for a very long time and thinking “you haven’t watched him sleep since he was a baby. Why is that?” So I grabbed my camera and took a picture of him sleeping. Something else I haven’t done in years. And that is when more realizations come flooding into my brain.

As I sat and watched him sleep for about 30 minutes, I realized that soon the days will be over where he climbs on top of me while we are cuddling on the couch. It is an odd thing to see as he is now almost as tall as I am. But soon, he will no longer want the comfort of laying down on top of me while we cuddle. Soon he will no longer need me for physical comfort. Kid1 stopped cuddling on the couch with me when he was about 12. He will still hug me in public and tell me he loves me in public, but that is about it.

Soon the nights of him crawling into bed with me when he has had a nightmare will be gone. There are some nights where he is standing at my bedroom door in tears because of a dream he had and frustrated I tell him, “It’s okay love. Climb into bed with me.” But I know that when those nights are no longer here, I am going to miss them. I am going to miss being able to fix the things only a mommy can fix. So from now on, hopefully I do not reply to him with frustration in my half-awake state when he is needing the comfort only I can bring.

Soon the nights of my bed being the better bed when he is sick will be over. Sure I wake up the next morning feeling as if a MAC truck repeatedly ran me over because he is wild in his sleep and I spend most of the night dodging flying limbs however I feel a certain helplessness when my boys are sick. I wish I had a magic wand that can cure them and make them feel better. But even if I do not have a magic wand, at least I can make them feel more comfortable, safe and secure in my magic bed.

Soon I have to let them go and hope that from time to time they miss the comfort only I can bring and come to me seeking it.

One day they are boys and then they are men.

Ghosts From A World Long Dead

January 28th, 2010

Sometimes it all becomes too much. Sometimes the words in my head bubble around with such ferocity, it becomes impossible to catch one, let alone hold it down long enough to try and make sense of it all. Sometimes the world becomes so turbulent, all of my energy is spent trying to defuse one crisis after another. And then at the end of a long day of flying around between one disaster to another, stopping them at the very last nanosecond, it is time to reflect upon the events. That is when I realize the day has become a week which has become a month which has become a moment of realization that I have not stopped flying for quite some time.

So back to the Fortress of Solitude I head. The thought of a long overdue reprieve from the world and its problems brings me comfort. Nestled far away from the noises of a chaotic existence is a place of rest where I can commune with those who have gone before me. A place of quiet reflection. A place to pay homage to those no longer with me, those who have become whispers in the wind but have shaped all that I am today.

It’s been so long since I made the voyage home and purged the clanging in my head caused by an unforgiving and thankless world. I do not know where to begin. I returned to find what was once a quiet and peaceful place is now crumbling with neglect. Filled with the echoes of thoughts thundering throughout the crevasses and cracks caused in a quest not only to help others but also to help myself find my place in a world in which I really do not belong. The secrets have become too much. Instead of looking towards the ghosts of the past to guide me, I found myself looking through them and becoming aware of the cold and hard reality.

Those ghosts of a world long since dead were once a source of protection. They kept my secrets and reflected a time when I thought I had a place. They offered the illusion of belonging in an existence of having to hide much of my identity. The world in which I live outside the Fortress of Solitude would never understand. So I live a double life. A life where people lay upon me the burdens of a world they have broken, hoping that I can fix it. And a life where, even if it is the briefest of moments, I can put on a pair of glasses and live among the people, pretending to be one of them. But even when I am walking among them, I am never really one of them because at any moment, a call for help will cry out and off I fly once more.

To the ground I fall, under the burden and pain of the realization the ghosts are just an illusion. An illusion created in order to not feel so alien. Time away from the fortress that was once the source of my strength and power will become its ultimate destruction. Once it was enough to just help and walk among the people, never walking with them. But something happened in the quest to blend-in in order to hide my true identity. Spending time as one of them, even if it were just for show, has caused envy to start growing and twisting within my psyche. I have found myself longing for the ability to be flawed. I find myself desperately desiring acceptance despite the secrets.

I find myself wanting to tell an imperfect being all that haunts me, risking rejection and destruction. The comfort of the ghosts of the past has transformed into the cold and unfeeling reality that they are there out of construct, not out of choice. Sure there are a couple of people who have become aware of a select few of my secrets. However, the only thing that has knowledge of the whole died many years ago and now rattles around offering pre-engineered words of comfort. I would give up everything to be Batman.

Like me, Batman has his own ghosts from the past. Like me, Batman lives a double life. Most beings do. Like me he pretends to be normal all the while waiting to be called upon. Like me, he has a place where he can hide from a world gone mad, buried deep away from the chaos of it all. Unlike me, he can be battered and bruised. He bleeds. He does not have either my mental strength or my physical strength but he does have something I can never have unless…

When Batman has been batterred and bruised, when Batman is overwhelmed with the noises rattling inside of his brain, he can hide away in his batcave with Alfred to nurse his wounds and listen to his secrets. Alfred knows them all and despite the fact that Batman is an imperfect being, he is still there to care for him. Alfred is there no matter what to tend to his broken mind and body. Batman’s burden is not an easy one but at least he never has to carry it alone in fear of ultimate destruction should someone find them out. Someone already knows. Others may find out but someone already carries them around with him, willing to protect them from the preying eyes of the outside world. I would give it all up. I would allow my Fortress of Solitude to crumble out of existance completely. I would risk bleeding and becoming broken, batterred and bruised if at the end of the day I could escape to my cave. I would gladly risk losing it all if I had the comfort of knowing, that if need be, Alfred will always be there waiting for me and offering me protection.

Maybe I am becoming tired. Maybe I have spent too much time living among the humans and my real vulnerability is starting to show. Maybe I should spend more time away in my Fortress of Solitude and stop dreaming of what it would be like to really be with the people and not just living among them. Maybe I do not want to pretend any longer that I do not have my own burdens to shed. But I fear. I fear that if my secrets were to be known, where I to unload them, then I will truly be an outcast without even the past as a guide. Maybe I should premantenly retire to my Fortress of Solitude with nothing but the ghosts of a world long dead to keep me company. But what I wouldn’t do to have a batcave and Alfred.

Perhaps then the words will stops bubbling.