Posted in Fragile Life, Legacy, My own childhood

Pregnancy & Grief

I often think of my 20-year-old mother today.
Irish Catholic.
Exactly 8 & 1/2 months pregnant.

Her President, the age of her father-in-law, shot dead, beside his wife, on a Texas street.
My mother was 17, the age of my son, when she went door to door with her younger sister.

“The Kelly girls,” the neighbors called them.
Their mother sent them out to campaign.

I think of the unbearable grief that I felt on 9/11 & 11/9 and on the December day when children were shot inside their first-grade classroom, and I wonder that today is not my birthday.

And I wonder, what my young mother felt in those last two weeks with me inside.

And I wonder if the sweet sensitivity of my own son is due to the grief I held as he came into the world and she left it.

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Posted in Fragile Life, Mid-Life Mama, Mother to Crone, Round Two, Teens, What's Next? (18 & beyond)

school bus

although only “minutes” have passed since i immersed myself in the work of the day… i hear the school bus go by, again. and though no child of mine is upon it, i still find myself marking time as it comes and goes, as my youngest prepares to fly the nest, and the beginning and ending of day are almost touching.

Posted in Mid-Life Mama, Milestone Moments, Mother to Crone

40 Years as Mother

1 month remains between me & the Motherhood Archetype on this 365 Day Journey toward Menopause.

As a gesture of release & acknowledgement, I empty my drawers of tampons (while still keeping some in my purse)–certified organic, chlorine-dye-synthetic-plastic-additive-free, 100% cotton–noticing how foreign they’ve become in my hand after 11 months without employment.

I began this journey of The Mother with my first bleed–at exactly 13 and a half (like my mother before me and my sister after me)–and in the absence of a u-turn on the immediate horizon, I’ll finish this journey at age 53.

Thanksgiving Day.

Forty & a half years later.

(October 23, 2017.)

Posted in Mother to Crone, Retirement, Round Two, Teens

50 Dayz

Kelly Salasin, 2017

There were 50 days between me and the Motherhood archetype, when my youngest made this accusation:

“Mom, why do you keep running away from us?”

“I’m not running away,” I said, about the increasingly frequent day trips I was taking to the sea, close to 200 miles away. “I’m returning–to the Mother.”

“Huh?” he asked.

“I need a mother right now,” I said, “And I was born at the sea so that’s where I find her.”

He nodded his head, “That makes sense,” he said, shifting from child to scientist: “We all began in the sea.”

“And maybe I am running away a little bit,” I said. “But not from you. Toward me.”

Posted in Insight, Mid-Life Mama, Mother to Crone, Twenty-something

Companion

Lately, my sons have refused invitations or eagerly accepted them but then not followed through, while simultaneously (along with their father) they make increasingly unconscious demands on my time and energy; so that yesterday, I found myself walking to the pond, feeling sorry for myself, absent of the sweet company I so desired/deserved; and these thoughts continued with me down the road, across the brook, up the hill and down the path through the woods to the water’s grassy edge, where they slipped away with asana under the morning sun, until I found myself supine on the dock in a gentle spinal twist, looking up at the needles of a tall pine with whom I’ve communed for so many years–through so many seasons of my life–and hers–ice storms and snow storms and early springs and fair autumns (skipping high summer when the campers are here)–And in that moment I felt the steady friendship of her branches extended toward me and the strength of her deep roots sustaining our connection, and I realized how I would never be alone, not really, even when both boys are gone; and I thought about how often men forsake not only the women in their lives, but the earth, and how that brings women and the earth closer together, and aren’t we better for it; and then, something else:

Don’t I forsake Her too…

Posted in Mid-Life Mama, Mother to Crone, Round Two, Teens

Mom, you look crazy

September 27, 2017

57 days remain for me and the Motherhood archetype, and pangs of separation have begun to weave their way into the wild expectancy of transformation.

My own mother was still bleeding when cancer took her at 57. I’m not sure of my grandmother, whose life ended tragically at 55. Or my other grandmother who lived into her early 60’s, heart attack. Numbers are such a comfort to me. (I’m soon to be 54.)

There isn’t much talk of what it is to be on the “other side” of Motherhood. To belong, finally, or again, to self. Even while the heart’s capacity has expanded to include the entire world, like it did when we were children.

“Mom, where are you going in those knee-high socks,” my 17 year old calls after me, as I head down the driveway.

I look down and see that, Yes, I am wearing cream-colored knee-high socks. I threw these on as quick fix to staying warm this morning because I was only wearing a t-shirt and boxers (my sleeping combo since college) and I wanted to see him off to school.

“I’m walking down to the pond,” I say, “Come with me!”

He shakes his head and opens the car door, “You look crazy.”

“That’s the whole point of my age,” I holler back, past the pines, “I don’t have to care.”

He smiles, puts his school bag into the back seat, and follows me down the driveway.

“Do you smell the Balsam? Isn’t it great,” I say.

“You’ve kind of got an Einstein-esque thing going on,” he responds.

I run my hands through my silvery bedhead as we approach the road, hoping no one drives by.

“Is that mine,” he asks, pointing to the flannel over shirt that ties together the whole ensemble.

We walk a bit down the road, alongside the pond, and then onto the dock, until my husband pulls up with the car.

“He’s right. It is crazy,” he says, as we approach him. “But I kind of like it.”

“Don’t take the highway,” I say, “Take the back roads. It’s such a beautiful morning.”

I watch as the car turns around and then pulls past me, heading further and further away, and I wonder: Do I feel sad, or just right?

I pause at the water’s edge, and then with a lift in my step, turn back up the driveway, feeling less confident about my display of carefreeness out on the road, alone.