“Are you socializing him?”

When I was a kid, I remember my mother getting off the phone with my grandma and remarking to my step-devil, “She is repeating her stories, again”.

At that age, I loved my grandmother’s stories. Over and over. I loved the way she talked to me about the same things. I had no idea why my mom was so irritated.

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I don’t call my mom after 4:30. She is usually on her way to drunk after that time. I now know why my mom was irritated all those years ago. It’s because talking to an alcoholic is annoying. They hold onto one subject and find a way to say their piece every time a window opens. I know this because now, my mother does it to me.

“Are you socializing him”? My mother asks….. AGAIN. It’s almost drunk:30, and I am fucking sick of this conversation with her.

“Mom, seriously, he is fine. He is in basketball, and Lego Club. We just moved here, friends take time to make”. Please leave it alone.

“It’s a big deal”, she replies. I am so fucking pissed that she even questions my parenting given the obvious deficits in her own ability to mother me.

“Mom, you are going too far, I don’t keep him locked in a basement, we get out, we do stuff”.

She continues with her psyco-babble until I finally put my foot down. When I say finally, I mean we have had this damn conversation at least a dozen times since I moved here. Seriously. No joke. A dozen times. Conservatively.

“Mom, I can’t talk to you about this anymore, I am getting off the phone”.

“Alright bye”, she replies, words starting to slur.

Then she texts me: I LOVE YOU.

I give no reply. It is so condescending and coming on the heels of her tequila filled state, I can’t reply.  The next day, she texts the same, and a 31 year old woman, parent to two replies, “I love you too Mom, I will not discuss my children’s socialization with you again. I am doing a fine job of giving them what they need, If you can’t trust that and move on, there is not much else I can say”.

She texts back, “I’m sorry, you are the best Mom ,wish I were u”.

Yes, thanks for that mother, it’s four hours past drunk:30, that means a lot.

My most treasured images

When The Big Move took us to this small town, I shut down my business. It was a relief to let it go, and it broke my heart. Now, I am focusing on therapy, and image making for the joy of it. Since I have not taken an image worth celebrating in a bit, I share with you my most treasured images thus far.

Allow me to preface these by saying, not one of them is perfection. Many are soft and OOF, and some are from the beginnings of my photography journey. I love them, flaws and all.

Wrestling Pain

I sat with Max on my lap as my therapist and I covered the past weeks events. My sweet boy is struggling with his first season of basketball. His emotions get the better of him. He feels frustration and confusion so deeply, he often shuts down and cries.

“I don’t even know how to walk him out of this”, I told her.

She listens patiently as I describe how well he is improving, but how he can’t see it much of the time because the overwhelming sense of “not getting it” clouds his perception. How can I get him to persevere? How can this turn into a character building moment for him? How do I get him to balance his feelings with reality? Good or bad?

“Moving on, let’s talk about you”.

“I feel great this week”, I told my therapist.

It had been two months in this new place. This new place without friends, or family, and Tim’s work is keeping him in Seattle. Two months of figuring out a new rhythm, fumbling for a social life outside FB, and home school. All my support is 8 hours, or at best a Face Time call away. Finally I was feeling progress. Movement in the right direction. Just the week before, I felt totally lost, defeated and useless.

“Yeah, that concerns me”, Jill replied with a genuinely caring voice. “Your highs and lows are strong, how will you feel when Tim leaves again”?

My head shot up, recognizing the acute similarity in my son’s behavior to my own. Then the pain came. The pain of a mother who’s shortcomings have manifested in her sweet blue eyed boy. My heart wrestled- How can I possibly walk him through this, when in my thirties, I still am stumbling with waves of emotion fueling  my highs, and the depression breathing down my neck?

Too many questions and worries for a fifty minute session.

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