I have two children, sons, though at 26 and 28 they can hardly be called children anymore. Like any mother of more than one child I love them differently, but equally and completely. Despite being surrounded by gangs and drugs, my late husband and I somehow managed to raise two healthy males into adulthood, who avoided both, with only one major broken bone between them and the usual assortment of teenage boy issues. Maybe we didn’t quite raise them with a deep enough fear of God; but I absolutely raised them to not only respect Him, but anyone’s Him/Her/Them. I damn sure put the fear of Mom in them; tempered with a lot of humor, tenderness, and discipline in as proportionate amounts as I deemed needed for them together and individually. I did the best I could then and now always knowing, sometimes my best won’t be enough.
This is one of those times.
While this is my blog, please understand, I feel the details of my son’s lives are not mine to freely broadcast here and hopefully you can forgive my choice to be to cryptic, even as I try to talk about it. My oldest is going through a tough time right now and I know it’s going to get worse for him, for a long while, before it gets better. No, he’s not in jail; and those who know me well know just how ridiculous a notion that is, but it’s really not a good time for him right now. And I can’t do a damn thing about it; not I won’t I CAN’T.
I do not have the means to help him. I do not have to means to even ease some of the minor discomforts for him, to help make dealing with the major shit he’s going through a little better. This is killing me, because I am his mother and even though I know he knows, I am doing everything I absolutely can under the circumstances. I know it isn’t going to be anywhere near enough.
I war with myself. Were we too hard, too soft? Where did things fail as we raised him that his situation has come to this? The tough love part of me (he’s a grown man, he made this hard bed of his, and now he must lay in it), battles with the part of me who only sees that my child hurting in a bad way and all I want to do is throw my arms around him, and comfort him, and make it better now, and that’s where I feel like I’m failing him most. After all, I’m Mom. I’m the person my sons should be able to come to when things truly get fucked and I should be able to at least be able to help ease the burden, if I can’t (or shouldn’t) out right fix the problem.
All I can really do right now is be his emotional support; his personal rah-rah team. Even as I truthfully tell him on one hand how hard this is going to be for him for a long while, while on the other hand reminding him, as fucked as things are for him right now, he can and will get through this. That with prayers and luck, a year from now this will be a very unpleasant memory in his past, but it will be his past. The words sound empty and trite even to my own ears as I say them to him, but I have to say them. I have to keep his spirits up, keep showing him that silver lining ahead even as the Fates monsoon on him right now. As he walked out of my door, the resignation on his face as he continues to face the bullshit he’s going to have to be dealing with for God know how long before it gets even a little better, just broke my heart. For the first time since my sons were teenagers, I cried over one of my children.
This is one boo-boo Mom can’t instantly fix with a simple kiss and some ice-cream.