While at the pharmacy to pick up some of my medication, my son picks up a stick of men's deodorant. He tells me that the teacher at school explained to them about their bodies changing and how to take care of their new bodies by staying clean to keep pimples away, wearing deodorant, etc. Knowing that my boy isn't anywhere close to needing these things yet, I buy it for him anyway. What's the harm? I'll tell you what the harm is in buying a ten year old deodorant - a mother FREAKING OUT!!!
I cringe at the thought that in a few short years he will be a teenager. I want to freeze him at this age, before his voice starts to change, and he starts to get all tall and lanky. We all fumble through adolescence. Unfortunately, where girls go through it we get bigger boobs and start to shave our legs, the boys - they get tall, awkward, pimply and ever changing squeaky voice.
I shove that image to the back of my head and bury it deep. I'm totally happy to look at him now in complete denial that he will stay just as he is forever. I thank the Lord again - for the billionth time - that he gave me a son and not a daughter. When I was pregnant my mantra was 'Please let it be a boy. Give me a boy.' My mother said I was terrible for saying that. Obviously, I would have loved any baby the same whether it were a boy or a girl.
My reasons for wanting a son versus wanting a daughter are quite simple:
a) I only want to have one penis in this world to worry about. Instead of frantically pushing away the boys who fall to her feet because, naturally, she's gorgeous like me. (*wink*) Bullet, dodged.
b) Every teenage girl hates there mother at some point.
I know that seems really harsh to say, but think about it - when you were sixteen you believed that there was absolutely nothing your mother knew what being a teenager is like. My mother and I fought like blazing wildfire. We were so different. We crashed and burned our way through every argument.
Now, I know it was my teenage angst and logic that had me hell bent that at her age she would never understand what I'm feeling. I mean, she was in her late forties - did she even remember being a teenager? And us teenagers, we thought we were so much more grown up. We were so steadfast, holding firm in the belief that our generation was superior somehow. We were smarter, more mature, we could take care of ourselves. We didn't need anybody. Yeah, right.
I recently read a beautiful memoir about two sisters being raised by a mother with schizophrenia. In one scene, their mother smashes a bottle and holds it to her daughter's neck because she believes the man coming to take her on a date was a nazi trying to steal her womb.This mother had become so dangerous, the women made the difficult choice to separate themselves from her by changing their names and moved away. They shared nothing with their mother except a P.O. Box where they could send and receive letters. The mother was in and out of institutes and homeless for the next seventeen years. Not a day went by without the daughter remembering those minuscule moments in her childhood when her real mother would shine through.When they travel home to be with their dying mother for the first time in almost two decades, they learned in the end they needed her as much as she needed them. To be whole.Now, I know I need my mother. She is my rock. She is the pillar that holds me up when I can't stand. She is my advocate and my voice when I am too sick or scared to ask the hard questions. She is the angel who uprooted her life to save mine, moving five hours away from her home and family to help me take care of my son and get me on my feet. Without my mother I never would have been able to raise my son in a beautiful home.
She is as much of an amazing person as she is a mother. Earlier this year she was nominated for an Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the year award. When I became sick as a child, my mother put so much passion into raising money for the local children's hospital. She was such a stellar ambassador, the hospital offered her a great job at the main foundation. She loves her job, and you can tell. Mother is so connected to the cause and believes in it so much that she won that award. I never doubted it for a second. She believes in me too. Without my mother by my side being strong for me, I shiver to think of the dark places my mind would have wandered to in the lonely abyss of my disease.
We all carry pieces of our mothers with us. Whether it be in our features or DNA. No matter how much time has past or how many bad words are said. We inherit them through ourselves. My mother is not only the reason I have beautiful things around me, she's also the reason I'm beautiful on the inside.