I wish just once in my life someone I loved cared about what I really thought; how I really felt emotionally about something. It has never been my luck.
Last night my son was given a Christmas present I would not have bought him in a million years. Expressing a desire to have something and the reality of possessing it are two different things.
It is not good enough that his friends have one. Just as it is not good enough he started smoking when he was a teen just because his friends did it. This was the same kid that came unglued at ten when he saw me puff off a friend’s cigarette and made me vow never to smoke again. I cared about what he thought, and I haven’t touched a cigarette since.
It is not good enough that he is a 40-year-old man who could have purchased this gift for himself. Left to his own devices, I doubt he ever would.
My son is a particular, deliberate person. He would never be foolish. That doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. It doesn’t make this gift less deadly.
Never have I heard him express a desire to own this gift, though my daughter-in-law mentioned to me he had said something in passing.
He doesn’t need my permission to have it. The person who gave it to him didn’t need my permission to give it to him. But it would have been nice if for either a moment either had considered how I felt about it.
You see, no matter how old he grows, I am always his mother. I am the one who carried him for 9 months in my womb. I am the one who still remembers what it felt like to hold him, to rock him, how he smelled, how sweetly he looked asleep in my arms.
I am the one who agonized for every hurt he has endured in life, wondering if I did the right things raising him pretty much alone. Wishing I could take all his pain upon myself so he didn’t have to feel it. The one who has had to stand mute and allow him as an adult to make his choices and live with the consequences, because that is what you do for your children when they become adults – let them be one.
But this is something I have to make my feelings known about, it matters that much to me. As a Catholic, I try so hard to follow Mary in discipleship. I understand that includes living with a pierced heart if anything bad were to ever happen to my son. And hers was pierced seven times over with a sword.
But I don’t know if I can model her mercy and grace if anything were to happen to my son as a result of this gift. It might be beyond me to have forgiveness for it.
Heaven help me. Jesus, I trust in you.