Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mothers' Sons

(photo is mine - taken in Spain)

As the mother of an only son I must admit to having looked at the news of the last few days and wanted to weep.

And as my own son totters towards maturity I think I want to read a few books about mother and adult son relationships.

And I think might start with Colm Toibin's book of short stories on the subject, as I would like a male perspective on the relationship. Because I think I know what it feels like to do the mother part - however ineptly.

I recently sent a friend, who also has a boy on the cusp of adulthood, the Sharon Olds' poem
The Summer-Camp Bus Pulls Away from the Curb because these four lines really speak to me:

Whatever he needs, he has or doesn't
have by now.
Whatever the world is going to do to him
it has started to do.

It is not an easy time to be male. Why only the other day scientists in the UK claimed to have created human sperm.

What's your experience of raising boys to become men?


Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Wow what a topic.
They don't like to be talked to directly - a sideways conversation works well at a certain stage; for example, talking in the car rather than face to face - the eye to eye contact causes much shuffling of big feet!
Hang in there, it is worth it to have the acknowledgment that you did okay, when it finally arrives.

1:13 pm  
Blogger Pam said...

They don't like to be bugged but then when you don't and they're late or whatever, they get ticked. The testosterone level can run high when fathers and sons are in a room together. There's a certain amount of pushing away from the mother that manifests itself in metaphoric ways -- like an unexpected image in a poem.
Word verification today: Sagos -- my definition- mother wisdom! :) Trust it (but verify).

3:17 pm  
Blogger femminismo said...

Raising boys was fun. I have two, who are grown men now. Loving, smart; one's a teacher and the other a stay-at-home dad. My two were great at talking, but - yes - roundabout ways to do that were good. In the car? Excellent idea. It's almost like thinking out loud by yourself, only you're not. Mine were good huggers. I enjoyed your picture quite a bit. We women can be intimidating to the men in our lives sometimes, I guess, just like the other way around. What headlines are you thinking of regarding boys? MJ?

3:52 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

The UK lost a whole load of young boys in Afghanistan in the last week, many were just 18. The recession is boosting recruitment!

Thanks for all the advice.

5:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been awful watching the funeral procession through Wootton Bassett - even though I have no children let alone boys - it still hurts.


12:52 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

I agree R. And it reminds us of every other mother's loss too, wherever it may occur in this weary and brutalised world.

I liked the frankness of the father whose son has just been found alive in the outback in Oz - he was really refreshing.

1:40 pm  
Blogger Colin Will said...

Our two sons are both husbands and fathers, and I like the way they're bringing up their children. If I was an influence on them, then I think I maybe did alright.

10:23 pm  
Blogger savannah said...

3 sons. i have no clue how we did it, but somehow, despite every mistake and misstep, they are fine men. so, i guess the secret is do your best and expect the best from them. xoxo

2:55 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks C and S. I think you hit the nail on the head S.

11:12 am  
Blogger Pam said...

PS -- love your photo...

11:29 pm  

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