We were moms of sons. They were little boys who had stolen our hearts. As we struggled with divorce, custody, child support, remarriage and blended families, they laughed and loved us, and we, them. In July 1989, they played on the monkey bars – your little guy in his miniature tuxedo and mine in white pants and sandals and candy striped shirt. (What was I thinking?) They had no cares, for we fought to protect them. We did not want them to suffer from adult hurts and worries.
We were moms of sons. They were boys growing, still tied up in our heart strings. Skating on the creek, tobogganing, bonfires, jamming, strange hairstyles (why did I continue to give him mullets?), neon clothes, big brother status. They began to understand life outside of their small worlds. We held them close, while hesitantly letting them explore on their own.
We were moms of sons. They were young men securely embedded in our spirits. They created their own friendships, relationships, work experiences and fun. They remembered each other, but followed different paths. They experienced their own loves and heartbreaks. We tried to help them through the rough times (you & your son and a pot of tea; my boy & I having lunch together at a vegan restaurant of his choice), but we could no longer protect them from the roller coaster ride of adulthood.
His death shocked my son and me. We talked on the phone for a long time. We remembered fun times together. I told him how much I loved him. (Do you think our sons can ever really comprehend that?) I thought about my own battles with addiction (so cunning and baffling) and depression. I cried and cried. And I thought about the crushing sadness you must be experiencing. My heart goes out to you. I don’t know what else I can say.
We are moms of sons. No matter where our boys are, they live within us.
©Conni Cartlidge, 2008