Everything wrong

While taking a break from editing last week, I oh-so-casually decided to look at a few music videos and I came across this one. I had liked the first two songs but then Everything Wrong happened and I was taken completely off-guard.

I thought the opening line “I do everything most wrong” was funny and sweet but what followed, “There is one thing I want you to be/ That is smarter than me” sent tiny pinpricks to my sinuses and up behind my eyes. Tears. She had me, that Martha. I hadn’t fully realised it before but that is exactly what I had wanted for Boone; for him to be a better, smarter version of me. Actually, it wasn’t even what I wanted, it is what I presumed he would be. Because, for some strange reason, I had had the notion that Boone had his own personality, and, conveniently, it had nothing to do with ours; at least, nothing to do with any of our foibles, quirks, or personal difficulties.

Of course, he is his own person but the second I saw those toes (my toes, my mother‘s toes!), I knew that he had something to do with me and as he gets older, I see more and more that he is our son. So, when Boone does things like sits in a corner at parties or playdates, or asks repeatedly to go to the potty even though he doesn’t have to go, I feel a bit crushed. I know how he feels because I feel that way most of the time myself. Deep down, I had probably hoped that he would be a resilient, outgoing, laid-back, talk-to-anyone kind of kid, that he would never have to feel the way I feel. But so far, anyway, he’s not a big sleeper; he prefers to play on his own; a crowded room makes him want to run away. Just like me. It takes a long time for people to get to know him and for him to get used to other people and it’s really only family members that get to see the “real” Boone: the jokester, the show-off, the giver of kiss bombs.

Martha continued to slay me with lines like “I don’t want you to feel alone … I will try to stay alive to see as much through your eyes/ But one day you know I will go.” And it got worse: “I am only a stepping stone/ For you to get where you must go/ And there is nowhere I would rather be/ So put your weight on me.” Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! I mean, I had just wanted to take a break! Not be struck down by a song about motherhood! It was almost exactly like the time I was watching Home Alone 2 of a Christmas (Boone’s first Christmas, as it happens) and I started bawling when the mother said “Goodnight, Kevin” (in a very sad voice) from Florida and he said “Goodnight, Mom” (in an equally sad voice) from New York. I had always thought Home Alone 2 was a funny film up until that point, but with that scene, I discovered what it was really all about was mother-child separation.

Thanks, maternal instinct!

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