Thursday, October 18, 2012

Angst, a mother son bonding experience, the family who despairs together...

So, what would you say to a 9 year old who is in the midst of an existential crisis that would make Camus weep?

I think this perceptive boy has seen under my veil, knows that I feel my life has no meaning, so encouragement from me rings hollow.

My son says, "Nothing matters. Life is meaningless."

Yes, sure, life has meaning, son. Cough. Cough. Wouldn't you rather know how babies are made?

I want to be happy. I want to be the kind of mother who is always full of light and sunshine, patience and gentleness, Valium and bourbon.

I'm just not that kind of person. I don't have it in me.

I can't even fake it.

I'm a cynic, a gentle soul with a short fuse. I'm a hugger and a yeller. I run on coffee and adrenaline.

I don't think life has meaning.

I don't believe in much.

I don't believe in Karma. If I did I would think I'd done something REALLY REALLY bad in a previous life.

I don't believe in God but I'm not above attempting to quell my son's worries with stories of an all loving all knowing God. God is just one more fictional character used to entertain and manipulate our children. 

Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, and other lies my mother told me. Or, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and God walked into a bar. The bartender said...

  I don't believe that bullshit, the universe works in mysterious ways. If I did, I might sit up straight and say, Hey, Universe, you passive aggressive fuck. Tell me plainly what it is you expect of me. Don't expect me to decipher the secret  meaning imbued in these weird coincidences and potentially symbolic events. I'm simple and easily confused.

So, if it's all meaningless, why did I have kids?

If I don't believe in anything, why'd I bring them into the world?

Here ya go, new little life. Remember life is suffering, you're born, you live, you die. That's it. The rest is up to you. Have Fun!
Did I think that my life's meaning was to be found in motherhood? Some self serving desire to do something  good and profound, raise good kids who grow up to be good people, good people who do good things.

If my legacy is my children, well, fuck me. What a shitty reason to have kids.

No pressure kid, but my entire worth as a human being, my sole purpose for living was to bring you into the world and keep you alive until such time as you could do something extraordinary.

What do I say to a child who looks me in the eye and says, "I wasn't supposed to be born. I shouldn't be here."

My son says things that I've been thinking about myself for years.

I am an error.

I never ever meant for him to see this side of me. I meant to keep this hidden from him. 

I want to tell him what he's seeing is me, he's not looking into a mirror.

We have to make our own meaning.

Then we have to believe it's real even if we know it's not.

I envy those who believe in stuff, gods, or karma, or the mysterious unfolding of the universe.

What do I believe in enough to call real?

Nothing was meant to be and yet here we all are. 

If that isn't a  miracle there are no miracles.


~lannalee~ said...


Find more things to hug. And more laughing things. (I suck at advice.)

Love you. Sending love over the ether to you and your boy.

Eliza G said...

Margaret, I was backreading in some of your entries...and I just wanted to say I can totally relate to the "I am an error" sentiment. I used to have that all the time as a kid. My parents weren't married, I didn't know my father, I had a lot of really low periods in my preteens and my teen years as my mom and I struggled to try to work through our respective crises in self worth. I believe in God, so a lot of my resolution came that way...but even stepping away from the ideology section of the department store of life... think for a second.

What is perhaps the one constant in life- In the universe? Chance. All that whirling randomness that people try to place and order in their mind somehow creates things. It creates everything you experience and everyone around you. If all else fails, believe in chance, because it is likely the one constant that anyone can depend on in life. Sometime it brings wonderful things, and sometimes it brings horrible things. But somehow those events all seem to push us forward to some destination. As to whether those events mean anything...well that's back in the ideology section.

But what I'd tell your little man (and perhaps yourself) is that chance isn't inherently a bad or good thing. It isn't partisan to good or evil, it's just random things that interact to create life...and that, as you said, is wonderful. I mean, if everything is truly a chance occurrence, step back and look at the wonderful things in life. Look at all the wonderfully complex and beautiful things in life. Look at all the systems and organizations that the natural biosphere has formed. Look at the complexity of the human mind with that appreciation in your head. And once you take it in and say, "This happened by chance"... revel in the sense of wonder it might give you.

That's something to believe in. And I hope both you and your kiddo believe that the absolutely marvelous and wonderful chance encounters and events do happen, and that they're worth while waiting out the bad stuff to experience.