My son had his first paying gig with his band last night. I was all excited about it when suddenly he called to tell us that there was a SNAFU. Suddenly my excitement was replaced with panic. I started to feel anxious and stressed for him. I even felt angry at him for allowing himself to be in this dire position. I didn’t raise an idiot! Why does he get involved with flaky people? I taught him better than this!!!
My Son Wants to be a Musician. Great.
Why does it feel like my children’s struggles are somehow my fault? Somehow I know that when his band bombs everyone in the audience will know that his mommy failed to teach him any better. I know this is a ridiculous thought. My son lives in a large city 800 miles away. Nobody in the audience is going to know I’m his mom. But they’ll know he had a mom and somehow she was lame!
Although I don’t really say anything, he realizes that I can’t handle his problem and says, “I gotta go, Mom. I love you.” I get off the phone and think about how hard it is to detach from my children and yet stay intimate with them. And then I spend the rest of the day consciously detaching from his debacle while simultaneously making myself think loving thoughts about him. I seem to have to do that a lot. I suppose this is the dark side of being an attachment parent. Eventually the day does arrive when you have to let go and watch them fly or get eaten by the cats.
Apparently, he was able to solve his problem in the end (without me!) and the show went off without a hitch.
I just got off the phone with him. He said it went “Awesome!” The crisis was averted at the last moment, everybody showed up and played their parts well, and all was saved!! YAY!
We both started laughing. He says something funny, I say something supportive (even though inside I want to yell, “Wolfie, what are you doing bothering with flaky musicians! You are better than this!”). He says something endearing and that he loves me (This time it sounds like he means it). I say I love him back (I really mean it).
I get off the phone with a silly smile and think, “Well done, Chloe. This totally could have gone another way.”
And I realize once again that I really only have a supporting role in my children’s lives now. This is hard after years of being the producer, director, screen writer, costume and set designer, casting director, and principal lead.
A couple of years before my mother died she said, “It sucks to reach the end and realize that you only had a bit part in your own life.” At the time I thought her statement was very pathetisad (a perfect word my mother invented years ago which combines all the pathos of pathetic with all the sadness of sad), but I think I’m beginning to understand what she was saying.
Oh yeah, and I guess I’m writing again. It seems I hit a bad patch and just couldn’t show up for my own gig here at The Chloe Chronicles. But like I said, I’ve heard that some artists can be temperamental.