Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Weakened

After my attempt at meaningful discussion about his academic future, I was told by the fifteen year old to go fuck myself. The next morning, out of apparent hostility, he fed the breakfast I had prepared for him to the dogs and he left his lunch at home. He has forgotten his lunch in the past and I have driven several miles out of my way to deliver it to him. On this morning I had a medical appointment and also felt disinclined to deliver the lunch of someone who would have me go fuck myself. He called later in the morning, astounded that his lunch had not been dropped off and I hung up on him and felt guilty all day.

The fifteen year old has not been a model student. I have attempted to discuss this with him, pretty unsuccessfully and Himself and I spend a lot of time being pissed off at him but I am still a fierce mom and no matter what, the fifteen year old is a child, yes an edgy child, but sadly at sea in a world of adults who behave (inexcusably) like edgy children themselves. We have made many requests from his school and I have verified that our expectations are within our rights and the school has failed repeatedly. We received a letter from the administration yesterday that was so pussy and shitheaded and shirking of responsibility that we realize we must get him out of there as soon as possible, as in, before the end of the semester.

I have always had mixed feelings about the theatre group and I know that the fifteen year old hasn’t been a star trouper there this season. A few rehearsals were missed, due to my inability to correctly read the complicated schedule. Tonight is opening night, after a dress rehearsal last night that ran over seven hours. The director of the theatre has often been criticized for writing plays that are overlong. It is a joke among the parents but honest pleas for shorter productions have been ignored. After last night’s ludicrously long rehearsal there was a savage e-mail from the director stating that there would be cuts and blaming the kids who had missed rehearsal. These are children Goddammit. They’ve worked hard on this play and were excited about it. How fun will it be now for the ones who have had their parts cut and have been publicly humiliated? This is children’s theatre. This angry attacking e-mail astounded me. The implication that the problem is unprepared kids instead of a play that is two hours too long is a surprising display of childishness and I hope that these accusations are recanted and that there is some major damage control when fatigue lifts and maturity prevails. I am the mother of a teenager and I am the first to admit he is in a fuck up phase but I feel like scratching the eyes of out adults who would shift the blame for a personal failure onto children, even if the children are snarky little shits.

Tomorrow I will pick up my mother from the steaming cesspool of now and take her to celebrate Mother’s Day. She will blather on that my kids, whose names she forgets, are taller than SHE is and that they wear jeans just like the ones SHE has and complain that they don’t have the same eye color that SHE does. Dementia has rendered my mom a parody of her narcissistic self-centered self. I thought long and hard back to the days before she began to fade and tried to recall a time that I enjoyed being in her company and I could not.

Tomorrow is my sister Sheri’s birthday. She would have been 65. My mother has no memory of her nor of pretty much of anything sad or painful. I look at both of their lives and I feel really fucking sad. I feel like a survivor and have feelings of superiority that make me guilty. Was I as big a pain in the ass at age 15 as my elder son was? Was my mother as fierce in my defense as I am in my fifteen year old’s? Have I forgotten? God, forgive me if I have. Is it my own destiny to be forgotten and become nothing more than an obligation to be trotted out and fed once a week?

Himself read this piece in incomplete form and said it was too harsh with regard to the theatre group but I still feel it was wrong to blame the children for an overlong play. The play has been trimmed though. Friday’s performance was almost four hours but last night it was whittled down, perhaps in compliance with the Geneva Convention, to a pithy three. I was expressing my concerns about the theatre group and Spuds acknowledged them. But he added, that he wished I would keep my mouth shut because he was having so much fun and that was all that really matters. I try very hard to teach my children forgiveness and indeed, to see them so happy reminds me of the need to practice it myself.

I am struggling here though. Our housekeeperless house is crumbling. Himself tries to help me and he loves me so much and is the light of my life but he is a retard and cannot fold a shirt or make a bed or understand the fine logic of my kitchen layout when unloading the dishwasher. And I lost a precious hour of work this week and it could have been avoided if his cell phone had been turned on.

I arrived at the "hotel" yesterday with the boys dressed up and gifts and a restaurant reservation for an early Mother’s Day celebration with Grandma to find that an aunt, who doesn’t much like me, had already arrived and removed my mother from the premises. Perhaps it was a Mother’s Day blessing to not to have suffer through a meal with her but I was stung , and it felt like near hostility, that I was not consulted. In keeping with the weirdness that seems to whirl around this particular Mother’s Day weekend, there arrived a generous gift from Himself’s birthmother in San Francisco of Dungeness crabs, which of course are not eaten in our Jewish household.

There has been constant drama with the fifteen year old all weekend and Monday, I face what bodes to be a prolonged battle involving lawyers and advocates and myriad professionals towards resolving the school nightmare. I see in him, a selfishness that reminds me of my mother and my sister and still mystifies me but is balled up in something I think that has to do with not being able to feel love. I found myself so tired and bitter and angry that for the first time in my life I slammed my fist into a wall. I did not break the plaster, but Casamurphy is full of evidence from other fist pounders who have.

I cried a lot yesterday. My poor husband was frightened. He held me tight in our bed which could have been made up more efficiently by a team from the sheltered workshop. I felt his heart near mine as he held me, the father of these children who complete our lives and confound us. My tears subsided and our breathing synchronized like we were a single machine and I felt gradually my crushing fatigue replaced by hope. I am a fierce mother. I am. I know I am. Love will prevail.

Happy Mother’s Day.


FionnchĂș said...

I guess I'm as much to blame as you for the fact you're writing this on a Mother's Day that applies to you and not only a couple (or twice that given our dual-family mitosis) of elderly women. My shared responsibility, however, is mitigated and sometimes enhanced by the love that our family (as they told me in Catholic school, until you spawn brats you are only "a couple") shows each other, haltingly sometimes, abundantly other times. And, you of course are rarely the Big Bad Domestic Wolf. You always show love the most, compared to us three little male pigs. xxx me

Cari said...

My condolences to you dealing with the worst of adolescence. All I can tell you is that hopefully he will grow out of it, eventually.

I was in a state of perpetual rage and escapism at age 15, I drove both parents crazy. (Never used the F word to them, though). Now, at age 44, I am experiencing my first mother's day without a mother. Kudos to Marlene for remembering that I am her's, it helps a bit to numb the loss I so completely feel. Even as a small child, my remedy for depression was to sleep, I inentd to nap all day. Night night.

harry said...

Yikes. Ship the little fucker to one of those bootcamps in Deseret country where they push the limits of dehydration as a path to Order.

Or... it's all part of the background to the wonderful rapprochement that happens in 2017 (about which you will write with great skill and feeling). Happy Mom's Day kiddo.

Chris Berry said...

What Bob are the peaceful warrior...and that's what the 15 year old needs. Come 2017, you'll wish he had a little more edge and write about how dangerous he used to be...

Now don't go putting your fist through a wall. I had to draw the line when I stupidly punched a tree (don't ask)...There was no more punching of inanimate or animate objects after that...I recommend screaming, drumming, or playing guitar very loudly in lieu of the wall punching, though won't begrudge you if you feel a need to let loose in that way. You just have to learn to do drywall if you decide to make it a habit.

Happy Mother's Day, Layne.