After my wise and thoughtful meditation on life upon my son’s commencement last blog post, what you would be getting next if I didn’t feel so exposed would be a great blubbery piece I began writing last week with the words, “I am bereft.” I’ll spare you that one.
Instead I will tell you, I am a great big mess.
My body is acting out in every way it knows how—digestive, skin, allergies, arthritis, everything.
I am crying at the drop of a hat—the LOST finale; a Pete, Paul & Mary folkie reunion concert on PBS, pictures of oil-laden birds in the Gulf (though no one should able to stop tears at that), the kindness of a neighbor, a stranger who lets me merge into traffic... it doesn’t matter, I’m leaking salty tears so fast I should be stopping to hydrate.
I’m trying not to globalize but, geez. On top of all these maladies, I went to the beach for a couple of days for the first time in years and the night before I left, water came pouring down from the upstairs shower into my dining room. Ka-ching! I walked back into the house trying to hold onto my vacation Zen, folly because on one of the hottest days of the year my A/C was broken. Ka-ching! My car went in for a few hours of work at less than $200 and three days, several frenzied price comparison calls, 2 cab rides and one beat-up loaner car later, capped with fending off an additional couple hundred in unauthorized charges later, got my car back with my wallet $750 lighter. I’ve had a mini-wasp invasion in my living room and zapped them with an eco-friendly spray I had picked up, but then I was breathing in an overwhelming stench of peppermint oil. Days later that had barely lifted before I was back in peppermint purgatory from zapping my achy back with Biofreeze.
My therapist has been gently guiding our conversations, or more accurately my litany of woes, back to the question, “Do you think Sammy’s graduation might be affecting you more than you realized?”
I know this too shall pass. I got through the summer four years ago when Sammy’s high school graduation converged with my turning 50, and I’ll get through this one, too. Though I won’t , at least today, think too hard about how much excitement and growth and travel and fun he has met with in those years versus how very static and stuck my own life has felt.
Oh my god, now PBS has a 90-year-old Pete Seeger leading an auditorium full of people in singing “Amazing Grace”—they’re killin’ me!
My horoscope in the Post a few days ago said “Your life could be a country music lyric. It’s almost funny. It’s a credit to you to find the humor here. Just make sure it’s not a paralyzing humor. There are people rooting for you, after all. You’re already coming out of it.”
(Imagine this with the appropriate twang)
“I’m so proud of my son,
Got a BA this year,
His accolades ringing around in my ears.
Internships, foreign travel, his life all ahead
Who could tell that his mother can hardly get out of bed?
I’m so proud of my son,
My darling my dear,
Why am I suddenly so full of fear?
I'm so proud of my son, I’m so proud of my son,
But what’s next for this mama
Now that that work is done?
I’m so proud of my son,
But what’s next for me?
Damn another midlife crisis is steamrolling me!”
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week…