Monday, April 19, 2010
Sharon Olds in her poem My Son the Man is facing the inevitable. Being a mother is not just seeing a son grow up. It is also to accept his growth sideways, his breaking free from she who gave life.
no time since I would help him put on his sleeper,
guide his calves into the gold interior,
zip him up and toss him up and
catch his weight.......”
As mothers we give birth. We nurse. With our bodies, hearts and minds we delve into the pool of parenthood. We stay by that water, faithfully, drinking it, swimming it, or merely touching it with our hands. Sometimes when drinking, we choke. Sometimes when swimming, the easy and elegant breast stroke is no more than the survivor’s splashing of arms and legs.
Then one day the very center of this activity is gone. What was once the soft, the fleshy, the cuddly small body, is now the tall, the wide, the bony. The boy has become The man.
I can see him, how has grown. Evolved. Where I once had to bend down and kiss the top of his scalp, I now have to tip toe to reach his cheek.
Then I look into that mirror. The girl - have I noticed how she has grown?