My brave strong sons and daughter.
I am trying very hard to be the supportive, helpful, serene Mama that you deserve. You are all smart, informed, progressive thinkers. You read, you listen, you understand what you are doing when you go out and protest. You are involved, and you are trying to change the world. I salute you!
Last October, on your maiden voyage with Occupy Wall Street, you all marched valiantly across the Brooklyn Bridge and you all got arrested. Gulp! Dad and I spent a scared and sleepless night trying to get information about you, trying to follow what was happening down there, trying to reassure ourselves that you were safe. We know that you tried to stay in touch when the zipcuffs allowed you to text, but it was still pretty upsetting for us. I will never, ever forget what it felt like to scan the images popping up on Flckr and recognizing the young man with his hands cuffed behind his back. OH MY GOD!! THAT’S MY BABY SON!!!!!
I didn’t jump in the car and drive the 5 hours to New York, but that’s only because Dad stopped me.
So now I am getting myself ready for your involvement in the May Day General Strike in Manhatten tomorrow, as well as your road trip to Chicago on the 20th to protest the NATO meeting and the possibility of war with Iran. I am doing everything that I can to stay calm and relaxed. I am not reading the OWS website (that often). I am not scrolling through photos of police in riot gear (much). I am not lying awake at 3 AM envisioning every possible mishap, accident and complication. (Well, not every night.)
I am, to be perfectly honest with you, of two minds.
Or rather, I am in one mind. But I am out of the other. My internal dialogue right now is the war of two Mamas.
One is Rational Mom: she is so proud of you! She is your biggest fan and cheerleader! She can’t wait to see your Facebook updates!
The other is Crazy Mamma Bear: she is sure that you are going to catch a disease, be clubbed in the head by a corrupt cop or be kidnapped and sent to the third world as a sex slave. Her imagination knows no bounds.
If you somehow had the misfortune of hearing my racing thoughts, you would hear something like this:
Rational Mom (RM): “This is so great! I have raised responsible, aware, involved kids! They rock!”
Crazy Mamma Bear (CMB): “They have ASTHMA, for God’s sake! They can’t possibly tolerate pepper spray!”
RM: “I am so proud! I have always been a super liberal, but I never had the courage to get out there and march!”
CMB: “What the hell do they think they’re doing?!? They’re BABIES! They think they are going to stand up to Wall Street? The New York City POLICE?! Freaking NATO?! They are idiots!!!!”
RM: “I should send them some gas money! I should pay for a place to stay in Chicago! I should pack them a nice lunch!”
CMB: “I should slap them silly! I should lasso them and tie them to the kitchen table!”
RM: “Go, kids! Change the world! Keep your idealism, your faith, your altruistic natures! Go get ’em!”
CMB: “Get back here right now! Put down those signs and come into this house! I MEAN IT!”
The thing is, I have children who are too smart and too independent to let CMB hold them back, and for that I am profoundly grateful. I want them to stand up to my Crazy Mamma Bear self.
Because for me the only thing worse than knowing that they are out there would be knowing that I stopped them from going. Knowing that I used guilt and fear to keep them from spreading their wings.
I never ever want to hold them back. I just want to hold their hands.
So, go get ’em, kids! But be sure you have a raincoat and some healthy snacks when you do!
18 thoughts on “Seeking rational thought.”
I’ve been lying in bed resting my leg and my phone beeped. I got up so that I could read the rest of your post. You have a wonderful way of writing about the divide, the two camps of being a Mum (I know you say Mom, but actually in Scotland it’s often Mam – which is what my son calls me). From your post CMB makes a lot of sense and I can identify with CMB. Here’s the thing though RM rocks and maybe the two have to find a way to co-exist. After all isn’t that what Mam’s do….. You clearly have wonderful kids who take the time to care and tell the rest of the world – that’s really important. Ok being arrested ain’t great but….. I admire the way you cope with stuff. I can learn much from a Mom like you – as will your kids. What you do will stay with them. Hey how lucky are they to have a Mom who rocks. 😉
Oh, thank you, my fellow Mom/Mum/Mam! I am working hard to laugh at CMB and praise RM. Most of all, I want the kids to feel my support and pride. I don’t want them to think they have to hide anything for fear of my reaction. They have laughingly agreed to keep me posted tomorrow!
And I have been on the run all day, and haven’t caught up with your doings. I hope that your leg is OK! Will read your latest right now….!!
Right there with you . . .
Glad to have the company! Thanks! Somehow, though, I don’t get the impression that your Crazy Mamma is so outspoken…!
My mom said, “I raised you kids to stand on your own two feet and be damned if you didn’t do just that!”
Lots of blessings on you, PDD!
Oh, I wish your Mom was here to guide me! Truly, “be careful what you wish for” is sort of my mantra right now. I’m so proud of them….gulp!
Thanks for the support and especially the blessings!
I think there is always a struggle between our hearts and our minds, fear and love, it seems you have found the right balance.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I fear that balance is still eluding me…I’m trying, though, and the kids at least know that! wish me luck in avoiding all news outlets today!
Wonderful kids. You should be proud of them. I get the feeling that so many of our youth just don’t care, but I could be wrong. Worry is natural, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.
Thanks, I truly am proud of them, in spite of my desire to roll them in bubble wrap and keep them beside me at all times!
I think that many kids today are very fearful of the future, and have lost all faith in what they see as a very corrupt system. The challenge for them is to find a way to express their opinions in a way that feels valid and useful.
Thank you for reading and for commenting!
They are all such strong young adults, who have been brought up not being told what to believe, but being allowed to form their own beliefs and opinions, and to stand by their beliefs. They also know how to express themselves properly…through words and expression and the arts, and not through violence. So rest assured, Mom, these kids of yours will make you proud, Rational Mom proud and Crazy Mama Bear proud.
I AM so proud of them! Scared to death and bursting with pride, all at once. Makes me wish for those bygone days when the scariest thing they faced was another hockey player coming at them.
You have raised children who are exactly what our country needs. CMB’s from decades past have felt what you feel and not enough of them exist these days. RM YOU should be so proud.
I think we mother’s have to celebrate our split personalities! Maybe, just maybe, those battling persons help keep us (and possibly our kids) balanced?? Sometimes we need RM to step in and have a talking to CMB to get us back to somewhere in the middle! Love your ability to have fun with the whole thing!
Oh, I love the idea of celebrating my “split personality”! That’s so great! Mostly I just think I’m nuts…..
Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment!
RM/CMB, I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Blogger Award because I love to stop in and read about your thoughts on life! Read about your nomination: http://keynoncoaching.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/the-liebster-blogger-award/
Whoah! Thank you! I am humbled…..!
Please, just keep sharing your insights! I so relate to this post and the ‘arrest’ part (a really long, difficult story there….but with a silver lining too)…..We moms really do earn every gray hair that we (me) cover up!