Thursday, September 03, 2009

Maternal Experiments


Last night I had a beer with a man who complained about his mother experimenting on him as a child. It seems she made him eat at least one serving of raw vegetables each day. The son is still bitter about this although he is now 75 years old and his mother is dead.

Maybe our mothers – in their roles as nurturers – must play the foil in order for us to develop individual identities? As the mother, it’s painful, though. Nothing like spending the first five years of someone’s life as the center of their solar system only to be transformed into their own private Death Star. In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola – Estes described this psychological phenomenon as the “too-good mother” and explains that in fairy tales, nothing can happen until she dies and is replaced by a wicked stepmother, forcing the hero/ine out into the world where magical fairy tale plot lines unfold.

On Tuesday, school starts again and I am dreading my son’s senior year of high school more than all four of mine put together. He is not a morning person but he chooses the early start each year but sleeps until 45 minutes before the bell despite my nagging and then blames me for his lateness. Also, his teachers call me and lecture me about his lateness and nobody knows more about raising children than a woman without them and she will often keep me on the phone for half an hour telling me all of the ways in which I am an inadequate mother. Later, I will discuss the situation with my son who echoes the sentiment. If only I would remove myself from the picture, my son’s entry into the magical fairy tale world would be wide fucking open and disapproving teachers would dissolve like salt pillars in the rain.

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