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
Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
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