i talked to my teenage son this morning, the phone line crackling and our voices blurry on my cheap indian cell phone. secretly and not so secretly, in my heart of hearts, i hope i do not hurt him by choosing this life of travel, of finding my own way.
i have never understood how to be a good mother. this boy was born from a deep longing to have someone of my own to love and to be loved back, the unconditional love of a mother and a child. at 17 i got pregnant willfully to know that love.
and now he stands 17 and i 35, and there are no guarantees. from the beginning this longing and love split me in two, even as he came gasping out of my body. from the beginning when the seed began to grow and my belly ripened like a mango...what i wanted and how it came to me always split me in two. there is no control of the ripening belly and locomotive of birth. i was so young, what could i understand except the most basic desires of the body and the heart?
i am proud of my son. not because he has done what i have asked, or made the choices i would have chosen for him, but i understand now what god meant when he looked at jesus suffering and said, "this is my son whom i love". i would carry a photo with me and show it to everyone in the whole world and say, "this is my son whom i love". whether i am deserving or not, this is my love. it splits me in two. it splits me in two.