Posted in Fragile Life, Insight, Mid-Life Mama, Milestone Moments, Sexuality, Teens

Cool Mom (NOT!)

While I generally do not wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m definitely not the “cool” mom that I thought I would be.

My own mother ran “cool.”  I only saw her flinch–twice.  The second time was when I went back to college after Christmas break.   She stood there on the lawn with my young sisters in each hand.  I think she might have been crying.  Maybe it wasn’t about me.  Maybe she wanted to leave too.

My own son just finished his freshman year–at high school.  All along, I’ve enjoyed witnessing his growth–even those terrible twos–and even the turbulent tweens (most of the time.)

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As an added bonus to each new stage of his development is my gain of greater independence. (That’s a good thing for a mom who needs lots of time for thinking her own thoughts.)

But even an independence-loving mom like myself isn’t immune to the pangs of separation. Even if my brain says that it’s a beautiful thing to watch my son grow up, my body has its own interpretation–and my body apparently doesn’t know how to play it “cool.”


Like the other night when I witnessed my 15 year old move in toward a girl for the first time.

She was seated on a chair, and he sat down on the arm beside her–and then, (and this part was in slow motion) I watched him tilt his shoulder toward hers so that their bodies brushed as his arm dropped alongside her back.

This physical expression of affection blossomed from innocent days of swimming and tennis and talking (and in between, Facebooking.)  It was a nice thing.  It was sweet.  It was good.

Then why did my spine recoil?  Why did my face contort? Why did my breath catch?  And why did I so transparently shudder, turning away to steady myself, that I caught the attention of her uncle who observed my whole internal drama which was meant to be private?

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Not “cool.”  Not cool at all.

And now I understand:

The mind, in its linear fashion, can appreciate change–but the body is timeless inside.

That 15 year old young man is still the baby that grew within, and the infant who suckled at my breast, and the boy who held my hand and beamed up at my eyes–promising to live with me forever.

This folding of time makes me dizzy.

Dizzy and transparent.

And that’s so not cool.

Kelly Salasin

Posted in Insight, Teens

Existential Mothering

If a mother gets her hair cut & colored, and no one notices, does she exist?

Kelly Salasin

Yesterday I arrived home with my annual birthday cut & color and no one said a word.  Over dinner, I complained that I didn’t exist.

I noticed,” said my youngest son, “I just thought…” and he made a disgusting face.  His idea of a mother is a stationary object that remains the same.

I like it.  I noticed it right away,” said my husband. “I just didn’t think it was a good time to say anything.

I had berated him when he arrived home from work– an hour late– without our youngest who he had forgotten to pick up from school.

I can’t tell the difference,” my oldest said, and then quickly modified his response when I dramatically explained that my hair had been shoulder length that morning and was now close to my chin!

Well, you just look really good tonight,” he said, “but until you told me, I didn’t know what it was.”

He then added that if I wanted him to “notice” my hair, that I should go to a chop shop, like Super Cuts, where there would be no mistake that my “look” had been altered.

I left the dinner table to  marvel at my new haircut in the bathroom mirror– by myself.