TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Community News Network

May 9, 2014

On Mother's Day weekend, things I wish I taught my son

(Continued)

Suffice it to say that I haven't read Dickens since I was in high school. And honestly, what a peculiar list, right? What about teaching him compassion, generosity, introspection, circumspection, responsibility, rolling with the punches, laughing at the whims of fate? How about a firm handshake? (Does my son have a good handshake? I don't even know!)

On Alec's 18th birthday, I did something I'd thought about doing for years. I wrote him one of those in-case-I-get-hit-by-a-bus letters. Hoping to strike a tone midway between Ben Franklin and Dr. Seuss, I offered up a bunch of unsolicited life advice, acknowledging that he might not even want to look at all this embarrassing balderdash until 10 years from now. My allegedly sage counsel ranged from crucial forms of respect (being on time; being a good listener) to a virtual checklist for the choice of a mate (as if it's a shopping expedition). Be a volunteer, I told him. Learn to express gratitude, sorrow, fear, affection. Apologize. Forgive. Hang on to old friends. Treasure your brother. And yes, learn how to cook.

I elaborated on some items, let others stand for themselves. I left the letter on his desk. I have no idea if he even opened it; a combination of bashfulness and cowardice prevents me from asking. (He could probably sense that it did not contain a check. I gave him a card along with his gifts and his favorite dessert: icebox cake, a relic from my 1960s childhood that I remembered, and resurrected, only recently.)

Eighteen years and I still haven't learned: The one thing a mother cannot do for her children is live the hard stuff or even carve out a shortcut. What that letter to my son contains, more than anything, are clues about his mother's dreams and fears, vanities and insecurities, strivings and humblings: a map of the terrain she's crossed, especially the steep and the rugged. If he saves it, what he will always have is a slantwise portrait of the mother I imagined and hoped I could be.

Text Only
Community News Network
Front page
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook