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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mother's work

My friend Pamela Shensky gets right to the heart of raising, protecting and then letting go of our children.
When my first born was little I recall telling him that I wasn't "just" his mother. I was an artist. the time my second child arrived I had surrendered. Now, I know I am a mother first and an artist second.
There isn't a painting in the world that would take precedence over their well being. They are my inspiration and joy. I worry about them all the time. Used to be I could hold them and cure their worries with a kiss. When they went through adolescence I watched them disguise themselves and face the forest of fears. I gave them crayons to draw their self portraits. I let them own their triumphs and become masters of the jungle. Now they are finding their course as young men in a world turned topsy turvy. I don't see them enough, and when we talk on the phone it is of food, politics, and environmental collapse, faith, and muscle, peace and war. They have more questions than I have answers to. Sometimes they go through trauma and don't tell me until long afterwards. I don't know how to mother them. Has there been a book written on how to mother your grown children? How to mother from afar? How to mother when your children are walking away?

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