Blind, buttered, and bred: Stories of parents and children
I’m sitting here listening to our son’s music as I write. It’s the very first CD of his own music that he wanted to give to us, and just saying that should be enough to mark me as another doting parent. My son is 28 now. He started making music in high school, when he announced that maybe someday he might go pro or something. Having always said that one musician in any house was quite enough, I was mortified . My husband never wanted his son working in the same field as he does. “Is he crazy?” was all he had to say. Of course, he knows better than all of us just how hard the music business is. but I was still a little shocked.
After that we never knew what kind of music he might be making. We never saw him perform. Then, this year, he showed up with this CD. Left it on the table and said “Please listen to this” My husband put on the headphones and when I next saw him he just said, ”I guess I was wrong”
Now we’re thinking of going to one of our son’s live performances. My husbands feelings are so mixed, but what’s a little bitterness in all the pleasure to be had. And thanks to my son, I get to go to a club for young people.
A few days ago I ate with some of the mothers from my son’s time in kindergarten. Back then we were all one big family. We were young parents watching our children’s first steps out of the house together, This made us a very tight group that lived, played and vacationed like a tribe.
Once we sent our son off to YMCA camp. While he was playing up there, we all sat at home gossiping over “what if there’s an earthquake”. My husband and I got so wrought up that we drove out to the campsite and brought our son home. But just him alone, because we were so distraught we just forgot about the friend he had gone with and whom we left behind, abandoned at the danger zone. When we talk about it now, it all seems so hilarious. But back then, we were all bringing our first child, all of them boys to boot. We were so do or die we didn’t even notice how foolish we were being.
One of the boys who was in our group, who came from a family that even we thought over-protective, is now living the hard life of a salary man. He recently said, ”I was brought up with such care. Whatever happens now, I’ll be OK”. We all thought that was wonderful, congratulating ourselves on how he had grown up, what a wonderful child he was, and how his mother must have cried when she’d heard that, all the while searching for our own handkerchiefs in our bags.
Such unbridled foolishness is the privilege of 20 years of child-raising together. But frankly, I think it’s really healthy to let out all the stops from time to time and just be the doting parent we all are at heart. Not to mention that, honestly, it really was such a struggle.
So I look forward to seeing my friends again, but mostly I thank my son for making it all happen.
(translation © victor woronov 2007)