The Gifts We Give; The Gifts We Are Given

Wandering through one of my favorite cities today with my family, I realized that I ALWAYS know where my son is. I can feel him. He runs hither and yon and is old enough to wander into a crowd without me panicking. I ALWAYS know where he is.

I make sure he brushes his teeth. He flosses too. I feed him and then I feed him some more as he is growing; Fast. I make sure he has time for homework and time for fun. I take care of him.

My son is growing up with certainty that he is loved and that things will be pretty much the same today as they were yesterday.

As a Mom I keep crazy people away. He is not surrounded by bikers or drug dealers or late night parties. He goes to bed at a decent hour and the house is quiet and safe at night.

I watched him wander today looking at modern art in a museum and I noticed him Seeing the art. He spent quite some time in front of certain pieces and dismissed other pieces.

We wandered our separate ways in each exhibit as that is what he wants at this age. He is longing for Freedom and has a deep need for the safety of my watchful eye at the same time. It is a tricky time for a mother and a son; striking a balance between walking away and remaining close.

Outside the museum I began to cry realizing that I was not given these gifts as a kid. The things I do as a mother come so naturally, I do not have to think twice about them.

Writing about my mother is breaking my heart and,  you may have noticed, I am veering away from the core subject; my mothers dementia and my response to it.

There is a reason for that;  there is only so much I can take. Getting it all out on paper is hard but it is the way I have always exorcised my demons.

Wow. Check that out. The story I am stalling is not about my demons, but my mothers. I still struggle with the guilt of being born and deep inside, in some pocket of my heart, I hold myself responsible for my mothers drinking.

My father tried to relieve me of the guilt before he died. He tried to make his amends to me. He let me know that he dropped the ball and should have been there for me. He saw me raising my sisters and he saw how responsible I was. He knew, but let it be.

I tried to console him. Of course I did. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. He quit Texaco, came off the road and was home with us running his own business.  He did save us. That is something.

There are gifts we give and there are gifts we are given.

I was given the gift of a son I love. I am given gifts everyday by his very existence. He is my Greatest Blessing and my Joy.

I can give him the gift of my Unconditional Love and Protection.

I am learning to give him the gift of Freedom and Release. It is a path I walk; being there and letting go.

My mother was not there and is fighting my release.

I have been building a scaffold; the story of my mothers decline into alcoholics dementia needed a back story.

Right. That sounds perfect doesn’t it?  Is is true or a cop-out?

I am beginning to wonder.

My parents were very odd people to be sure. Some of what I will be writing about needs that scaffolding. What story doesn’t need a structure?

The truth is I need to meet with the doctor and hospice at my mother’s home next week. The truth is that this part of the journey is one I am not prepared for.




The next post should be titled :

Coffins and Confabulation, but it is not.

I am going to stall a bit longer.

I have a few posts written, ready to go, stalling for time. I am working on a tangent and am trying to work my way back to the story of my mothers really disturbing alcoholic dementia and the Hell it caused and is continuing to cause.

I have a gift.

He is my Son.

I will wait to write the tough posts when he is at school; when he is asleep.

He doesn’t need to see me cry now. There are plenty of tears coming.

I am guessing that hospice won’t be cheery and I know my mother;

She is gonna be pissed and it is gonna be my fault.

There are gifts we are given and gifts we give.

Truth is a gift. I gotta get ready to get some and I gotta get ready to  give it.

Forgive for stalling. I am working my way back. This is Hell,  I have been here before;

I know my way back.

Peace,   Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on October 23, 2011.

14 Responses to “The Gifts We Give; The Gifts We Are Given”

  1. Jennifer-

    A very good one. Although I am thankful I do not completely relate to the portions about your mother as an alcoholic, I do understand intellectually and empathize – know I am here for you.

    I can however totally understand what you have written about mothering a son and you said it very well- I am here for you on this also (as I know you are for me).


    • Trish,

      You have been a co parent so often on my mothering journey. I value your advice, feedback and humor. I suspect the humor will be a very important tool as our boys move further into the teen years. We might just need a padded room; we can share one or just put both boys in one! I am glad you can not relate to the alcoholism portion of my bloggy thing, I really am.

      I know you are there for me; you always have been. I am here for you too. Framily, right?

      Love, Jen We missed YOU GUYS today!


  2. My god you’re a great writer. This is so touching. YOU ARE A MOM! I am so impressed. You are a natural mom! HOW, god of mine, did that happen? Your teacher was distracted (to be kind). I am so terribly sorry about hospice. This is hard …

    Thank you for talking about Your Son; Your wonderful, artistic, genius, handsome, son … oh, i feel so happy for him. He is love, protected: Safe. He will grow strong and be free … he’s loving a little of that now. NYC gallery! WOW!

    It is wonderful that you can get the demons out here — write it away … as much as it works.

    Do it your way, friend! Keep being you … you are a Mom a Mother, you are one of mine!

    Love, mel


    • I will write these demons away! The Kid is a blessing.

      Hospice has its upside too; support for both my mother and I. I need to remember that.

      I am tired and confused and SO happy you are on the other side of the world only just so near.

      Love Jen


  3. Jen – take all the time your heart needs. It doesn’t always have to be the most direct route. Personally, I always preferred the local color of the back roads – so many lessons I would have missed if I stayed on I-80.
    I learn from all your side streets and feel privileged to see them.
    Pain is a voice to be reckoned with. I think you do it with great grace.


  4. Jen, I think of the gift you are giving your son. You’ve done what few seem to do and that is breaking the cycle. You are breaking the cycle of your childhood pain. What a gift!


    • Debby. OK that seals it. You gave me a gift.

      All I wanted was to break the cycle I almost did not have a child for fear that the cycle would persist. You remind me of how important this is.

      I am going to go kiss my well fed, cozy boy RIGHT NOW!

      thank you!! Jen


  5. Let me go with you to Hospice. Actually..let me rephrase that…I AM going with you to Hospice. Ha-ha, I’m carrying the bossy stick, not you!

    I see a beautiful book of poetry in your future – you NEED to be published!


  6. Lovely…

    i have the feeling you’re on the edge of something…a breakthrough?

    Sometimes when we feel we’re moving the least, we’re building momentum for a great leap.

    Enjoy the ride.


    • Dear Al,.

      Very interesting point. Are you in cohoots with my therapist? I am avoiding her. Breakthroughs are often painful. Oh, RIGHT I AM in pain!

      Geesh. The only way out is through…. Does that always have to be the truth? enjoy the ride. sober. Enjoy the ride. Sober

      Ok I am going to try that. Next week. Just kidding. Maybe MAYBE tomorrow!!! thanks for the nudge. Jen sober


  7. I want to add my encouragement. The heart knows timing. Shut off the brain. You’re OK!


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