“Hello.” Breathless from climbing stairs.
“Hi, are you at home?” Urgent, hurried.
“Yeah, just walked in.” Calm, casual.
“Why, where have you been?” Sharp, accusing.
“Uuhh? Out. Is that alright?” Hint of laughter.
There are two characters in this telephone conversation.
- A 15-year-old girl and her mother.
- A 35-year-old man and his mother.
Fact or fiction? Which is which?
Few mothers forget that first cherished, maybe exhausted moment when their new-born baby is placed in their arms. The overwhelming sense of achievement and the rush of pride, a tiny part of you and your partner in your arms, your hopes, dreams, fears and nightmares wrapped up in a blanket that is bawling and demanding from the first. The deep thrum of maternal connection kicking in as the umbilical cord is severed, the unseen connection that will remain strong throughout your life. Through thick and thin, years and/or miles of separation but that gentle thrum will remain with every thought of his or her name, every physical sighting or touch, every contact by mail or voice.
It never dies.
The aspect of that connection I had never imagined brings about the telephone conversation above and yes the factual conversation was between my son Paul, himself a father of three) and I!
It delights, frustrates and amuses me that here we are now, 35 years on and it is option b) that is fact. My son’s fierce sense of his role as protector is both comical, heart-breaking and heart-warming to experience, all mixed into one. I love him dearly for it, although the next line in the telephone conversation did inform him politely it was none of his business where I chose to go in the middle of the morning or any other time!
That 35-year-old connection is strong and passionate of late, he demands it to be so. His sense of responsibility for his Mum, now she is alone, is truly fierce, maybe somewhat excessive, and often comical. Whatever my life brings, wherever I may travel, whatever I may do, I know with all my heart and soul that I have that connection to rely on, it is like a physical cord, it is something I can tug on when my feet slip or my heart sinks.
Sometimes I feel as if my little bundle of squawking, hungry, demanding joy has outgrown me and as he matures with the years and I feel my maturity slipping away as I grab life with both hands and my heart! It’s that Benjamin Button feeling again!
Today, I will celebrate that squawking little bundle of joy and his achievements as this is my last post from the oft beautiful, wet and windy home of my boy in Bergen, Norway.