Saturday, October 15, 2016

Long distance mother

On this doorstep I stand
year after year
to watch you going
and think: May you not
skin your knees. May you
not catch your fingers
in car doors. May
your hearts not break.
(excerpt from Evangeline Paterson's A Wish for my Children)

Isaac, 43, Google employee, husband, father of two, with a cat and a mortgage, broke his ankle on Thursday. It's a fractured ankle with torn ligaments, and he's in a lot of pain. It's a fracture, not cancer, not a broken heart; he's not being bombed in Aleppo. But here am I, his mother, 4,500 miles away, hating his being miserable, hating being powerless to do anything to make him feel better or cheer him up. 

My brother just rang and heard the tone of my voice and said "What's the matter?" I told him, and he responded: "I'm sorry. But he's a grown man. You're not responsible for him."

I pointed out that he would be upset if his only daughter was in pain, and he agreed.

The science?  Research shows that when women see someone in pain, their brains react as if they themselves are in pain. Men's brains don't work the same way.

Whatever. It brings me back to the truth of that quote: "A  mother is only as happy as her least happy child."

the photo is by Lux Hepworth


marmee said...

I sympathise! Have a son that is far away and even hearing he has a cold makes my mother muscles twitch...even though he is well able to deal and his beloved is one of the most caring people I know!

Sue Hepworth said...

I expect I'll be still doing it when I am 95 and he is older than I am now.