healing · Mental Health · Parenting

My baby, my son, my young man


Alex was an infant when he was born. A tautology? Yes. But what many didn’t see is that I (his mother) was also an infant at his birth … no more ready to be a mother than he was to be a baby. So, together, we grew. Most of the time he grew faster. He showed me his internal self,  in music first, then with ASL, and finally in words. Once the words started it seemed they would never stop. They poured out of his person, bubbled along his perambulations and lit up the crannies and corners of his emotional world.

I stumbled along behind. Falling, often, catching him almost never yet somehow always persevering. I had lots and lots of help. A therapist, many and various mental health professionals, an (invaluable) parenting support worker, and (gradually) the discipline and friendship I found in my martial arts. Throughout I was (almost) always following Alex’s forays, struggling to catch up.

And now I find myself looking up at him. He towers over me, stomping around in his size 11 shoes. He is just as verbose as he always was, and his intelligence is used mostly to figure out how to muddle through a school system that neither inspires nor engages him. Other people see more of him than I, his world is larger than our shared reality. As it should be.

I, too, have changed. I am more whole than I was, more present, more conscious. As I begin to explore the other side of 50 I find myself saying hullo to my own emotional landscape. I am happy, sometimes, sad, sometimes, and all that falls in-between. I am a mother, a step-mother, and a wife. But enough of me. The world waits for Alex, he is champing to get out there and be himself. Meanwhile, my role has changed. I stand back further, ready to catch him if he stumbles, and I watch him unfold, physically, mentally, emotionally. He is and always will be, irrepressible, verbal, gentle. My baby boy, my son, my young man, of whom I am very proud.


Growing up · hockey · Music · Parenting

Transferring Children between Parents

I got an e-mail today from my son’s father which read (at the end) “I am going to need a station wagon soon” and I had to laugh and wryly agree. Tony and I have been parenting Alex separately since he was not quite two. We have gone through a variety of types of shared parenting, but have landed on the week-on, week-off as being the best for all of us. What this means, though is that on the changeover day (Friday) there is an ever-increasing amount of stuff that needs to be lugged between each home.

My son plays hockey, so that in itself is a big chunk of real-estate that needs transferring. Then there is school stuff, knapsack, lunch bag and other desideratum associated with grade six. He is a proud owner of an i-pod shuffle, so that has to be remembered and brought and then he also has started taking guitar lessons (can I say he plays the guitar? Hmm, perhaps not quite yet …) so anyway, there is a guitar that needs to be shuffled as well. And, finally, although we have just had a week of OMG it is Spring, it is still not yet the end of March and so the winter and spring gear come as well.

Hence the “I need a station wagon” comment. Isn’t it lucky we don’t have to move the dogs from home to home as well? Yikes.