The Good Mother

Well, it happened.  I was checking out some stuff on the Arts Journal website, and I had my “Eureka!” moment.

I’ve been playing with this story idea for months and I couldn’t make something fit.  I couldn’t get my characters together in a believable way, and I did it.  And the storyline’s just falling into place now.  And, just like that, I’m unblocked.  Woo hoo!


Went to work out with EBE today.  He put together a workout program for me that I’m certain will leave me unable to walk to lift my arms, but boy, I’m gonna look good.   We got finished about an hour ago, and my arms are already stiff…

I bitched so much while I was doing it that I forgot to thank him for all the trouble he went to until I was halfway home.  I shot him a quick text, and to my “You’re the best!” he said, “No problem.”  And I’m supposed to come back Wednesday for more abuse.   Motility is over-rated anyway.


So, I’m doing yoga tomorrow. Workout with EBE on Wednesday. Out to the barn on Thursday.  And I think I’m going to head over to Melbourne again on Friday.  My mom’s going back up to Vermont on Saturday, and she said I can stay at the place on the beach while she’s gone.  My aunt’s offered to take me to her Bikram class on Saturday where she’s promised that the surfer’s in her class are so cute, I’ll be able to get into a full Camel just to check out the guy behind me.  Ha ha.

And I’ve decided I want to learn to surf, so I’m going to see about that while I’m over there.  My uncle’s surfed since he was a kid, but I’m thinking he’ll be working all weekend.  I’m sure I can cruise up to Cocoa or down to Sebastian’s Inlet to find somebody who’ll show me the ropes.

I swear it’s like I’m fifteen again trying out all these new things.  There are just so many things I’ve always wanted to try, but I didn’t. Didn’t because I was too scared or busy or consumed with all the responsibility I took on at a young age.

Becoming a single mother as a teenager, I put off a lot of stuff.  I don’t regret it.  But, I took it so seriously.  I had to be there for my child.  But I was still a child.  I lived away from family, so I really had no idea, no example, no guiding hand.  I figured that he hadn’t asked to be stuck with just me to be responsible for his every want and need.  So I felt like I owed it to him not to put myself in harm’s way.

And I was fearless as a child.  I’m the same girl who jumped in the pool at two without knowing how to swim.  Somehow that little girl grew up and grew scared – of flying, of heights, of not being in control.  More than anything, though, I was afraid of failing my son.  Of leaving him alone.  Of not being there if and when he needed me.

So I put everything on hold. I didn’t date.  I didn’t travel.  I didn’t try new things.  It was like a limbo of sorts.  I was with him for every birthday, for every holiday, for every bedtime story.  I was there, but I wasn’t growing.  I wasn’t living.  I lived through him.  It was my duty.  It was my job.  It was my honor to be his mother.  And I lost that fearless girl.  Somewhere along the way, I lost that part of me that existed before he came into being. Maybe because I never gave myself the chance to mature into adulthood before the responsibilities of adulthood were upon me.

How do we, any of us, hold on to that person we once were?  Do we, are we supposed to, give that person up when we become parents?

So, now that Boy is raised up sufficiently enough to have a car, a girlfriend, a job, a dormitory, I’m looking for that fearless girl again.  I’m dating.  I’m traveling.  I’m trying new things.  I’m taking a step back into that girl’s shoes, so I can finally take a step forward out of this self-imposed limbo that was this child’s idea of what a good mother would be.

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