Sunday, January 31, 2010

Letter to my son

“Some parents and their children bond over museum visits or sporting events. We bond over wringing out hand washing,” I joked. “Such is our life.”
“The life you put me in!” you said, with an undercurrent of accusation.

“At least you’ve got one!” I said to your retreating figure. But what could you understand of that?

I have always known how hard it would be, raising you alone. I was under no illusions. No teenage girl hoping for someone to love her. No broody, nearly-out-of-eggs career woman dreaming of stenciled nursery walls and cradling a warm, talc-scented head. I knew it would be a struggle and one that you would probably never understand and certainly never thank me for. But I did it anyway, I gave you life because you already existed and it wasn’t my job to contradict what was so evidently and powerfully a force beyond my control.

I’m sorry you don’t have the things your friends do, that you are ashamed to invite them over because your mother sleeps on the sofa and dries clothes by hanging them from the furniture.

The fact is you have so much. You just don’t know it yet. And one day you’ll be proud of me, I hope, that I’ve made it this far when so many times everything inside of me has wanted to give up, fold in, fade out. I hope you’ll never get to feel my loneliness, anxiety, the guilt that I can’t do better for you. I’ve tried my best, and when you’re a parent you’ll know that’s all you can ever do – get out of bed, try your best and hope that you, my child, will do better. But know that no one, no one, no matter how successful at this business called life, could ever have loved you more.


laetitia said...

This is so beautiful Louise, I am glad I checked out your blog tonight, it makes my heart ache. Btw theo told me again the other day how cool he thought Joshe's house was. I am forever thankful you and your little house were there to host my boys when their mother was unable to care for them...

eva said...

this is heartfelt & true writing.We want to do our best and feel we fall short. But surely,for a child, feeling loved is all that matters