Thursday, January 27, 2011

It sucks to grow up*

I've recently remembered that I like Ben Folds' music, listening to his stuff in the background at work, sharing it with Micheal, memorizing lyrics through sheer repetition and drooling over his key work on songs like 'Landed.' There is a tender song called 'Still Fighting It' about his son growing up, kind of in the tradition of 'Cats in the Cradle.' It has a funny line in the lyric that says
Let me tell you what
the years go on and
we're still fighting it,we're still fighting it
and you're so much like me
I'm sorry
and every time I heard the 'I'm sorry you're so much like me part' I just thought 'that's weird.' And then I listened to it today, I get it. Epiphany. At least my interpretation of it...

Today has been a hard parenting day.Our teenager has some stuff going on that's just hard. He's not in any trouble, there's just some really hard teenage stuff, hormones flying, tears leaking, emotions high, reasoning slightly impaired, blind spot firmly in place, heart on the line... a teenage kind of day.

I could feel his pain, helplessness and emotions so strongly that, while no one else (probably) noticed, I was transported 25 years into the past, feeling the exact same things, looking into the face of my mother. The mother that wanted the best for me, that made the hard decisions while knowing I'd disagree, that I'd be hurt, that I'd feel helpless.

I didn't notice that my mom probably did some time traveling, too. Leap-frogging through time, in my son, I see my pain. In me, my mom saw hers. Different stuff, same thing, trying to do our best in an imperfect, fallen world, if we could just fix this one thing, this situation that feels so overwhelming. There was 'pain, sunny days & rain, I knew you'd feel the same.'
Dear Micah,
You're so much like me.
(I remember it. Hang in there, you're going to make it!!!)
I'm sorry.
Love, Mom

*'It sucks to grow up' is in the lyrics, check it out here:

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