Yesterday was much better. Yesterday was payday, with all the cigarettes and caffeine and fresh, nutrient rich groceries that payday entails. We did the shopping, I ate roughly eighty-four thousand tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, and we went to a cookout at a friend’s house. After socialization (and chemicals, and vitamins), I am no longer batshit insane.
So! Of course! I woke up! Very early today! And I could not go back to sleep because of nebulous worries about my future parenting skills! My brain is AWESOME. This stuff is so incoherent — the worry, that is, not my brain, ha ha — and I don’t know how to put it into words. I am not worried about my parenting right now. You see, right now I have all the answers and know all the solutions and am generally some sort of super-mother (able to leap tall speech impediments with a single jaw exercise). Connor is not always going to be small and trusting and easily entertained, though, and what then?
No, really: what then? I can tell him why the sky is blue, but what do I tell him the first time he asks me what a “nigger” is? What do I do if he’s gay and his friends find out and decide, cruelly and vocally, to no longer be his friends? When he’s 17 and gets his heart broken into twenty billion pieces by some girl (or guy) who wasn’t good enough for him anyway, how do I make it better? I mean, they don’t even MAKE Band-Aids that big. When he’s 21 and decides, in his third year of college, that he hates his entire life plan and really wants to be an underwater basket-weaver, “But Mom, I don’t think I’m good enough, and I’ve spent all this time learning to be a lawyer, and underwater basket-weaving is expensive, and I’ll never make any money, but I hate being a lawyer, and maybe I don’t care about money, but what if I’m terrible at the basket thing,” how do I guide him? Obviously, I need to bolt awake in bed at, say, 4:45 to figure these things out.
In that interview I did a while ago, I said that the best thing about being a parent was being able to see that my efforts were working — that I was doing right by my kid, and it made me feel great. That’s not going to last forever, though. He’s not always going to be a bright, cheerful toddler who will accept any answer from Mommy, any consolation, any goofy game, just because it’s Mommy. I’m not going to stay infallible, and books and doctors and other moms won’t always have guidelines. Eventually we will be crossing uncharted waters, my son and I, and when that time comes I have no doubt that there will be serpents and danger. What I can’t figure out is how to keep us from sailing off the edge of the world. (Please, ignore my stupid, overextended metaphors. I am so tired.)
I think, although I could be wrong, that these are issues that all moms struggle with. If I can apply a little logic to the situation, I come to the conclusion that all kids must struggle with them — otherwise, moms probably wouldn’t. So how come I don’t know this stuff? If I ever came home and asked my mom what a “faggot” was and why it made my friend cry, why can’t I remember the answer?