Tuesday, November 18, 2008

crossing rubicons

as every mother knows, there are stages and phases not only in the life of a child, but also in your relationship with that child, and in that child's relationship with you. some of these phases and stages are greeted with public acclaim and often universal acknowledgement - the first tooth, the first day of school, graduation. these are the ones we talk about and the ones for which there are greeting cards.

and then there are those turning points unnoticed or unacknowledged, turning points too finely calibrated to measure in simple words. i suspect that these are the most profound.

today my mother and i were talking about christmas presents. what would you like for christmas, she asked, and even i could hardly believe the words i heard coming out of my mouth.

you don't have to get me much this year, i said.

i wasn't going to get you much, my mother replied. i was going to give you money.

give it to the kids, i said.

what? she said. two hundred miles away i heard her jaw drop to the floor.

i don't really need anything, i said. you can give the money to the kids... they need it more than i do.

you really don't want anything?

a tree ornament, i said. a book, maybe, you know i like to read. a sweater if you're going to make it.

oh no, i wouldn't make it, my mother answered, it having escaped her notice that the only child she's never made a sweater for is the one who wears them all the time.

then just get me something small, i said, and spend whatever you would on me on the kids.

wow, said my mother.

wow, i said to myself.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

4 comments:

Shades of Scorpio said...

Wow. Is that the step after answering "Oh I don't know. Whatever you want." =) And as mamas ourselves, we know that we just have to get our babies something.

How sweet to give your gifts away to the kids. I'm sure they would really appreciate it if they knew.

Walk in the Woods said...

Christ would be pleased . . . A gift for his spirit in this season of blind, hypocritical madness.

Dina said...

hmm, yes that is a turning point! I still want stuff (LOL), but that is interesting about the sweater, sometimes our mom's just don't get it. Anyway, as for my question..no it was not rhetorical..I would be grateful for any help you could give me, but understand if you cannot do that.

Patrice said...

I feel that way, too, this Christmas. I have an abundance of everything I need.

It's a wonderful place to be in.