Motherhood: A Stream of Conscious(mess)

i could write about writing or movies or television right now but I’m feeling paralyzed by this thing called motherhood. today I feel unsure how it goes, how to fix mistakes, how to put a smile back on my face, how to be a better person and not inflict my own needs onto my six year old.

i forget he’s six, he’s soooo incredibly smart. I mean like brilliantly insightful on a level I cannot understand. He’s still six and he does annoying six year old things and that confuses me because he and i are here together and we react off one another. a lot of the time it’s brilliant because we’re in sync and have great fun but sometimes i feel like it’s all terribly wrong and i am lost. today is one of those days.

i am trying not to make him like what i like, help him understand there are consequences to actions, maybe what i say isn’t always right but if i’m asking something of him over and over he should probably listen. i am scared at my need to make him see things as i want him to because as soon as i find myself doing that i immediately loosen up and tell him he is his own person separate from me and can do as he likes but there will be repercussions in some cases, whether they be punishments or bad feelings or maybe none, it’s possible there will be none, i say.

i love this kid like nothing i could ever imagine and i don’t really know how to be as loving as i should be without being the disciplinarian as well because he’s six and a lot of the time six year olds don’t listen so i feel disregarded. i have a thin skin. i am upset over someone in my life right now and i’m letting it affect my focus on my life. this is old behavior. i now cannot let it affect my focus because this boy, this beautiful child depends on me and i owe him my focus.

he doesn’t understand what i need even though he says he does and maybe he does but it’s not his job, it’s not in his wheelhouse. we had a long day, we came home and i needed time off and i got about 20 minutes before he said it had been hours…..i said it hadn’t and he does love a good argument. it is hot and muggy here and i am perpetually uncomfortable and tired and i am tired, oh so tired. i sat with him and showed him ‘singin’ in the rain’ and we walked the dog and i talked about gene kelly and how he made being a dancer masculine and cool cause he was so handsome and he just picked up a stick and laughed about a dead cockroach on the ground. the next minute he said something mindblowingly profound about my sister. i  get sucked in, why can’t i accept he is many things and not just one. the age gap they say is the hardest part about parents and children. i just never have enough energy to move from moment to moment.

we had lunch with a dear friend and it’s always a complaint, the chicken was too spicy, he wanted to do math problems, he’s perfect, he asks me why i drink wine and i say i drink about a glass every few weeks and he asks if that’s ok and i say it is and he worries about me because he knows drugs and cigarettes are bad because i’ve told him yet i worry if i push too hard he will come in the night when he is teen and kill me. and he has been taught by me how to think and i have a slight british accent and now people are telling him he does too. this amazes me, but of course, he lives with me, he hears my voice all day, i read to him when he was in the womb and i heard him today and i said, you do have a slight accent and i loved him even more for it. he is mine but i don’t know what to do with him all the time and he needs me so much, like i don’t even know how to be needed like that and yet at times i think he’d rather i not be there at all and he says he couldn’t imagine loving anyone more than me and asks me to marry him and then cries when i say we can but we can’t.

i feel i am ruining him just by being me sometimes. i try and be understanding and helpful but what do i know. am i any good at this. he is a strong brilliant clever and funny boy. he is special in ways i cannot understand or explain and i mist have had something to do with that because its just me and him but he is six and he almost got hit by a car today because he was skipping across the street and didn’t look and neither did the driver and i was angry and yelled at him not to skip, and i thought how can i tell him not to be so happy that he needs to skip and of course he can be safe and happy and he understands that but then he did it again and i wonder what is going on, is he deaf, what will it be like when he’s 14 and i am even more tired.

he has taught me to play uno and we spend all free time playing and we love it and he changes the rules and i see him tear up when i challenge him on it, he needs to control something, his card game, it’s just a game but he gets upset if he thinks i played wrong and i tell him i’m not playing wrong but you can’t and won’ always win and you cannot cry and then i realize he is six and  am 44 and he is tired at night and so am i. he thinks sleep is for the weak and he wants to be awake and i tell him nothing is happening, go to sleep. and he wants to just be with me and i say no, you have to sleep and he wants me to sleep with him but he stays awake if i’m in the room so i say no and i feel terrible. and he tantrums because hes a tired six year old who didn’t say uno first and the pizza is not the kind he likes tonight and it’s hot and we’re both tired and uno can go on so long and I want him to read this strange book we’ve been reading about an alien boy and he refuses because he says he hates to read but he’s reading at a fifth grade level in 2nd grade and i tell him he cannot hate reading it is brilliant and will keep him from being lonely and expand his imagination and he doesn’t want to and we didn’t read and it makes me mad and i want it all to go exactly as i want it or feel comfortable with it and i fear this crazy fear that is he doesn’t read this saturday night he will lose out on something so he throws his cards down because he’s changing the rules of the card game and i cannot just let him be a six year old because i don’t see that when i look at him and i don’t know why he loves me like he does so i make him feel bad because i feel bad and then i spend the rest of the time explaining myself in some unknown voice that bores the crap out of both of us and makes us both feel bad all over again and then the next day is new and all is forgiven and it’s still hot and muggy and I want to spend the day in bed like i did before he was born, or go to a movie on my own or just veg out and i want him there but please stop banging on the drum, too much noise, do it in your room and close the door but i love you and i you want to be here with me please come and sit on the bed while i’m working but please be quiet, i need some peace and he asks about something i’ve answered already or tells me he loves me more than the stars and the universe and a trillion billion quintillion times and it’s my fault i don’t believe him and I tell him the same and i know it’s true but I’m afraid it sounds like a lie because i don’t know what to do with all that love while i’m trying o make this little boy the best he can be. the thing is, he is. and i need to stop and let him be his best and listen to everyone who tells me he is and know what i know in my heart and mind and stop myself from being my worst self or my second to worst self and give the kid a break cause he’s six and i just want to sleep and watch tv sometimes and i need to love him it should be so simple so why is it so hard. no matter what happens he runs into my arms when i pick him up from school every day and i cannot understand that ability to forgive and to love without conditions cause i didn’t have it and get over it, it was a thousand years ago, you are here now with him and all is great until i let my world outside my love make it worse. and i hope i can make it great for him but i know he will talk about m as i did my mom one day but i love her so much now she is not here and i miss her and i maybe it would be easier with some help. we are here playing uno if anyone wants to stop by.

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