Friday, November 29, 2013

Thwarted Dreams

A long time fan of Doris Lessing, I loved reading this Paris Review interview with her. This excerpt was particularly personal for me :

My mother was a woman who was very frustrated. She had a great deal of ability, and all this energy went into me and my brother. She was always wanting us to be something. For a long time she wanted me to be a musician, because she had been a rather good musician. I didn’t have much talent for it. But everybody had to have music lessons then. She was always pushing us. And, of course, in one way it was very good, because children need to be pushed. But she would then take possession of whatever it was. So you had to protect yourself. But I think probably every child has to find out the way to possess their own productions.
I was raised by a frustrated mother in many ways I am one too. Motherhood is deeply fulfilling - the joy of creating life is a powerful force. However, it does fade in time to be replaced by the need for seeing thwarted dreams come to fruition. A proxy for giving birth perhaps. Sadly for the child, they become the conduit for this rather negative energy - to that end the pushing and prodding often in directions contrary to their passions and natural abilities. 

The awareness of this flaw in me has helped me stop to consider if I am pursuing my own agenda or I truly have my child's best interests at heart. I still push J - much harder than she would like sometimes, but I force myself to let go so she can breathe. I am still learning to fully disconnect my dreams from hers - often they are a dense tangle that cannot be easily teased apart. Maybe in that space she will find a way to protect herself and learn how to possess her own productions.

1 comment:

Gayatri's blog said...

Love this observation on motherhood. I needed these words of wisdom.