9/22/2008

A House For Two

A Tehran shop's booming zoolbia and bamiyeh sales during Ramadan, September 22, 2008.
My younger son and I trying to figure out an arrangement which is mutually comfortable for the two of us in the house. I used to give a lot of freedom to the two of them to come and go as they pleased without explaining too much, and staying away doing my projects in the house. Of course I made them meals and was available when they wanted to hang out with me, but I never hung on to them, treating them more as my young adult roommates than kids anymore.
My younger son wants to be attentive to me, so he calls me during the day and when he gets home he comes and sits by me for a little while. I want to tell him that he is as free as he ever was to come and go without having to keep an eye on me. But I also worry that if we set up a pattern of too much independence, with his tendency to keep quiet, distance might grow between the two of us. So, we experiment with different things. I took my dinner plate into the family room last night and sat with him watching some TV, something I hadn't done in 2.5 years! I showed him a most amazing thing, a hand-made travelogue by this Iranian Assyrian guy who went to Iran and came back and gave his (limited edition!) book to Jahanshah to publish. (If you can access Iranian.com, you really MUST see this amazing book). We talked about it for a few minutes. I find that just over the past 48 hours, he goes away but comes back more intermittently to check things out and then goes out again. We'll figure it out, I'm sure. It is just strange.
Meanwhile, and in case you are wondering, my older son has not called me and twice when I called him, he was really busy and really excited, going to beginning of the term orientations and parties! Good for him, that party animal!
Do you want to know the truth about how I feel? I think what my older son is doing is the natural and right thing to do for somebody his age and in his situation. I don't want my kids to worry about me or feel obligated to look in on me. I have made choices in my life of which I am proud. One of them was, for whatever reason, to leave a man almost three years ago. I came to live with my children in the US. I made that decision. I have to stand by it by myself and bear the consequences of it. Young men have a natural tendency to be protective of their mothers. If I'm not careful, I can create feelings of guilt and obligation in my children for taking care of me and I don't want that. I have lived and continue to live my life with my choices and they should live theirs unencumbered by responsibilities which don't belong to them. It's good to be a family, it is important to be close, but it is equally important to feel free to pursue one's meaning and mission in life. I want that for my sons. Me and the Traveller will have to figure out a formula which works for both of us.

6 comments:

Hyacinth said...

Nazy jan,

What a great post and what a great way of thinking. I loved how you talk about not wanting to create feelings of guilt and obligation in your children...that's one of the best things parents can do...unfortunately sometimes guilt and/or obligation are used by parents as a very effective means of control.

When I was younger, my mom and I were in a very similar situation to what you describe, and it took us a few years and many attempts but we now have a great relationship based on love and friendship and respect...I call her everyday because I enjoy talking to her and hearing about her day, and I love that I don't feel obliged to do so :)

Your sons are very lucky to have you as their mom :)

Anonymous said...

Your children are so lucky to have such a fahmideh, kind, and progressive mother. You are a strong woman and, should you want it, the right man would be lucky to meet you!

مسعود said...

أمّي
في عيدكِ...ماذا أقول؟
لن يكفي شعرٌ...مهما يطول
لن يكفيَ نثر
قلماً...ومداده بحر!
يا أول وجهٍ لمحته في الدنيا
يا أول بسمة
يا مطراً في صحراء العمر...
ويا فيّا
شجراً...ووروداً حمر
يا أحلى كلمة
هل تقبلي هذي الكلمات؟
لولاك...هل كان حياة؟
يا دمعتي وضحكتي
يا لحناً أنتِ
وأغنيةً لنا...
هنا في غربتي
وبحورٌ تفصلنا
وأنت تنتظرين...
عودةً ولقاءاً...بعد حين
في عيدٍ آخرَ...يا "ماما"
وأنتِ بخير...وسلامة!

وينعاد عليكِ....

سلام نازی خانم
این قطعه از هاشم است.لازم نیست عربی بدانی تا آنرا درک کنی ،مثل من با همین سواد فارسی هم میتوانی آنرا بفهمی.
راستی یک پست داشته ای که من نیمه کاره خوانده بودم ولی حالا می بینم که حذف شده چرا؟

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Doostan-e-Azizam:

Thank you all so much for your kind comments and supportive words.

Hyacinth Jan, thanks for visiting me all the time you are so kind. Read on, for in Masoud's reply, there is also something I want you to know.

Dear Anonymous, thank you for your good wishes. Heeh! I think I've about given up on men! It's complicated and exhausting to go into it now, but when I wrote that short poem, All the Women Inside of Me, I tried to explain what has gone wrong in my few relationships with men! My strengths overshadow my vulnerabilities but they are still there and this leads to misunderstandings which are hard to remedy. Thanks for the thought, though!

Masoud Jan, my sweet and kind friend, thanks for coming again and again. Yes, I did make out enough words in the poem to get a general idea about it. Thank you. You have always been very supportive of me as a mother.

In all the time that I have been blogging, I had never deleted a blog, so your observation is correct as usual. I wrote a post about my visit with my young artist friend, Hamed Nikpay, and his upcoming album, All Is Calm. Sweet Hyacinth left a comment on it, too. But he and I decided later to postpone talking about his album until it actually comes out. I tried to edit the post and eliminate some things, but the result was not to my liking so I decided to delete it and re-write something appropriate about him in a few days. I do apologize to Hyacinth for having also deleted her beautiful comment in the process.

Hyacinth, sounds like you live in the area. If you do, won't you come to lunch with me sometime? If you come on a Friday or a Monday, I can also ask Hamed to come along and meet one of his fans!

Again, thank you all for your beautiful words here and always. I am blessed for more reasons than one.

Daisy said...

My mother is the longest love affair in my life! We have never cut the umbilical cord.
"Isabel Allende"

p.s. Nazy jon, since I've seen the photo you have posted here (zolbia and bamiyeh), I can't stop thinking about it. They look sooooo good!

Hyacinth said...

Nazy jan,

What a great idea. Would love to meet up for lunch one of these days! I think I saw a hotmail email address for you in your contact info so I'll send you an email shortly.

Hope you have a wonderful day.