I got to babysit my much, much loved G/Son last night. His 'rents dropped him off about dinner time, he spent the night, and his dad came around 11:00 this morning to take us out for breakfast. We did everything from blowing bubbles, to picking bluebells, to watching Elmo DVDs, to baking cookies (with blue sprinkles!), to dancing to music, to picking up rocks and putting them in our pockets, to coloring with blue crayons, to watering Nonna's gardenias, to petting the cat (GENTLY!), to reading stories and poems. He walked me through the book about Thomas the Tank Engine, explaining the difference between tenders and helicopters and tank engines. He sang Little Rabbit Foo Foo to me and I sang a family variation of The Muffin Man to him. Plus, just hanging out. I just adore this kid.
This morning, I was getting him out of his pajamas and into his clothes and he told me that he didn't want to take off his Spiderman pajama shirt to put on the lovely blue-striped Hanna Andersen shirt that his mom had packed. We'd talked the night before about how spiders make their webs out of their own bodies, spinning their own homes, and he'd been so impressed by that discussion that he repeated it, this time as the imparter of information, verbatim, to Miss Thing. When I tried to jolly him out of the spider shirt: "Look, this one has BLUE stripes!" he cried, and he cried the way that two-year-olds cry: completely, abjectly, thoroughly. And I stopped and thought, "I'd cry too if I couldn't even be in control of what I wore on a Sunday morning in my own Nonna's house. I'd cry, too, and every bit as abjectly." So when Son came, we went to brunch in the Spidey pajama top. And, Sweet Goddess, what did I think? Of course, no one even noticed. G/Son scarfed strawberry crepes and gulped orange juice (he'll never be president, this kid, plus, he's way too interested in mass transit) and no one batted an eye.
I think that I didn't do such a good job of allowing Son to make his own choices. I was a poverty-stricken, single, teen-age mom and always terrified that people would judge me a poor mother and, as a consequence, judge him as a badly-brought-up child. (When he was born, the first thing that I said to him, talking more to myself, was, "It's OK.") No such fears with this wonderful young man and I pray that I'll do a better job of always being the place where it's safe for him to be all of himself. When he was born, the first thing that I said to him was, "Namaste." That which is divine within me honors that which is divine within you. I mean to honor that. I wish that I'd been a braver mother. Sorry, Son. Sorry. I mean that.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."