November 12, 2009

and maybe even a small oil leak...

I think
of the seemingly ordinary things I do
day in and day out
without any hoopla or party hats
how each morning after not enough sleep
I get up and do all those things again
parenting does not fall into that
"seemingly ordinary"
~not even remotely close~
I feel like I've been driving an old car
with worn brake pads and no power steering
on a long gravely road
with hair pin turns
on top of a mountain
where the oxygen is too thin
my knuckles are sore from holding on so tight
my head pounds and my body aches
as a mom
this is what I have to do
I have to hold on
it's not easy
it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do
I'm learning
that even with an immeasurable amount of love
sometimes liking your children
is as hard as the cement they might fall on
while trying their best to run from you
while thinking
everything you do or say is stupid
maybe soon
he'll see
my weathered knuckles and how hard I'm holding on
trying to keep him safe and on the right track
that I'm really not as stupid as he believes
but instead
I'm just a mom
who loves her son
how I hope he does


  1. yes, he does... he's just being who he is and all he needs to know is that you love him unconditionally, and YOU do and it shows, and he loves, you, too..and it shows as well... but he is a teenager. ;)
    thinking of you, hang in there and just be happy you don't have hairy hands like the one in this amazing photo, cute as it may be. :)

  2. you just keep being you. he's growing and changing and searching. you just keep being you.

  3. He will!!! My son is now 41 years old and loves me very much. He shows it in many ways now and it is wonderful! So hang in there....they eventually come to their senses.

  4. Wow, I love your words,and photos! you are so right! I understand, my oldest is 21, and boy do I hold on tight! I just pray a whole lot! Trust & Believe...
    I am sure that if you do your best, that's all you/we can do!
    Let Go and Let God..

  5. Oh, Momma. He knows. Even know, he knows. He's just too busy being his age to stop and think how you feel. He does know.

    Thinking of you.

  6. Beth, that photo made me cry. It is absolutely stunning. It has a life force of connection.

    and to the mothering words... oh been there, am there. It is the best and worst of times all in the space of an hour sometimes.
    We come through to the other side with my son (mostly :) ), and he loves me with gushes that leave me breathless. Knowing when to give in is so difficult, knowing not to give up... is the love that will come back to you.

  7. Wow, I'm so happy you shared this today. I could have written it (but you did a much better job than I would have...) My son turned 13 in April, and the (drastic!) changes began. Sometimes I look at him & think, "Who ARE you?!" I'm trying, learning, & growing, too & hoping that I'm not always going to be 'stupid mom'. And like you, I couldn't love him more. Bookmarking this page :)

  8. I love how many of your commenters have male children, too ... there's a lessening of that taut grip, a small exhalation even if just for a moment, in knowing others GET IT!! I do. 22 and 18. both boys. oh do I get it. You're doing exactly 'right', Beth, meaning FIGHTING FOR IT!!! for him ... priority #1 is the foot up the keister followed by the hug, his comprehension and appreciation just won't come til later (that he'll admit, anyway) ... howzabout I grab hold of that fence for a while (since both of my boys are chillaxin for the moment) and you can climb on my back and take a nap?

  9. Oh Beth, you have all my sympathy. Sometimes you just have to give yourself up to blind trust that they will be all right and that, other than letting them know they are loved and that you are there to help, there's not much you can actively do.
    I have grown sons as well, and have been through some difficult moments with them, but your situation sounds particularly hard. I'm betting that he'll turn around and see you for the gift that you are.

  10. And if that doesn't capture all that is emtailed in raising teenagers, I don't know what does!!! Holy Smokes... it is such a roller coaster ride, with no seat belt... yep, your right... HOLD ON TIGHT!!!!!!

  11. He will, brave momma, I know he will.

  12. Can I relate... Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. Sometimes I think that I am not doing a very good job. Hang in there...

  13. I know he will see more clearly one day, how do I know this, I was once a stupid kid who bucked the system, and as I grew I realized how smarter my parents are. You just be you. Love is the only thing that matters and it is your love that he needs every step of the way....although right now he might be in that I need nothing stage. Behind those walls he needs you more than he wants to admit. You will both make it through the rough spots. I have no kids to know this. I am just going by me being an ass to my parents, to selfish to ever see their side of things, until I grew up.Take care Beth, BE YOU.

  14. Hold on Hold on tight. Things will turn out for the better. With all the love you and your husband surround him must be okay. Hand over the weel for a time to his that gonna work for your soul? Let's hope so.

  15. He will come to appreciate all of this someday. Have faith that he will come around.

  16. He knows how much you love him. When he's grappling with decisions he will actually have that tucked away in the recesses of his mind somewhere. Hang in there Beth - it will get much, much better! You sound like a great Mum. x

  17. Oh I'm sure in time he will. I think its normal for a certain chapter in the book of parenting, to be called "unappreciated." But the book usually ends happily. I'm sure yours will also.

  18. Oh Beth, you are peeking into my soul. I have come to the conclusion that the reason teenagers are so miserable is so that we won't miss them too much when they move away.
    May I save your post?

  19. no need to hope, he does. he truly does.

  20. You must stop not giving me any hope!! UGH! The best piece of advice I got when my son was colicky was this "You will always love your child, you may not always like him." I can see I better hang on to that for awhile :) Love the honesty, even when its tough.

    My dh wrote a very sentimental mother's day card after our colicky-hard-to -console baby was born... thanked her for hanging in there with him! There is hope.

  21. parenthood
    is a cycle,

    they worship us.
    they pull away.

    you are doing everything right.
    you are doing everything right.

    at some point, they realize
    all that we have given them
    and we face them on even ground... equal. finally.

    and it's a wonderful thing.
    enjoy. and take care
    of #1!


  22. Beth, your posts and photos always seem to amaze me. I do not think it possible for your son not to see how hard you are trying... I am even willing to bet you do a darn good job as well.

    The photo is stunning!

  23. Boy, have I certainly been where you're at right now. For me, there's a level of frustration that I get to where I just want whichever son it is to just go away from me. They look at you like you're an idiot and certainly fail to realize that you've lived a whole other lifetime before they even came along. Thankfully, it passes and they do something charming and you like them again. I don't think our children can truly appreciate all that we do for them until they become parents themselves. I take comfort in knowing that my sons will be made to feel like idiots by their own children someday, too. : ) HA HA!!

    ~ Wendy

  24. what a strong lady you are...moms have to be...take care and know that I do understand Beth

  25. Oh yes, I feel that often too. Hang on, I am hopeful there will be a day when he looks at me and says "mom, you are so smart, why didn't I listen to you sooner?"

  26. i have a 15 and 13 year olds and sometimes i wish i had a magic wand to turn them back to the cuddly four year olds that thought i was the greatest mom ever and actually listened to me...hang in there
    sending some mom energy your way

  27. Can I tell you something?

    This is what I hope, as well. My sons are much older now. One is doing very very well. And the other is the one I worry about.

    But he's writing to me again. Just a few sentences at a time.

    He may not know how hard it was for me when he was young, how many sacrifices I had to make just to care for him and his brother. But he knows that I am his ally. And that I love him.

    If only love were enough, right?

  28. I'm right there with you...with tears in my eyes and a constant anxious ache in my stomach. The 2 words I hear constantly are "God Mom" Molly can be sooo good, but when she's nasty- she can hurt like no other.

  29. is a child's job to test, test, test and pull away...but I think it only works well if they know they are backed up by those strong hanging on fingers:)

    Love that shot!

  30. *giving you a hug*

    Hang in there. Love is a powerful thing.



**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth