mother son

Yesterday I spent a painful morning in my local surgery, waiting to see my GP; it’s a narrow corridor lined with chairs; I already inhabited two, the second for my heavily bandaged foot. Ten days ago I was up a ladder, stupid idea as I’m newly on anti-epileptic drugs, [they give you about two months to stabilize]. I was trimming Old Man Banksia tree, on a 12 foot ladder, when the pole I was using to trim the branches fell solidly & heavily onto the middle of my foot, where the stigmata was supposed to be [since we’re doing Holy Friday]. Two days later I was completely immobilised & my foot was a sullen swollen mass. I was treating it with ice packs and betadene; at one point I stupidly thought white Tiger Balm would help increase the blood flow, instead it created two enormous blood blisters.

My local hospital became involved when I decided I needed antibiotic intervention; by then I needed crutches to get around. In the surgery I was being insuffieiently treated for the pain: whenever the injured foot got to ground level gravity would send blood to it, which had nowhere to go. Howls of pain ensued; as an artist I practise paraeidola, or seeing irrational shapes in things; during the pain, my closed eyes would project auras of intense colours.

So, there we were, waiting for the doctor to get round to seeing us; unfortunately, she was having major problems moving client files from an old system to a new one. A young pregnant woman brought in her young [three? year old] boy, who ran up and down the corridor with a new toy every two minutes; my horror scenario was that he would lurch suddenly against my swollen and insanely painful foot. Was it the intensity of my concern? But he started paying visits to my foot, briefly stopping to examine my bandages before visiting the receptionist or going back to mummy, who would pile him into the playpen.

I thought later that the underlying logic of his behaviour was that his mum must have told him this was a place you went to when you were sick, yet in that whole parade of waiting folk I was the only one presenting any symptom of illness. He stopped again in front of my foot, which I was protecting with both hands, from any sudden lurching gesture. At one point, I said emphatically: “BIG HURT”, and his eyes widened. From the other end of the room his mum sought to assure me his intentions were benign, I agreed but told her I couldn’t afford someone’s innocent blunder. The receptionist’s contribution was the expression “sticks out like a sore thumb”. Thank you. I said to the mum “he’s a total sweetie” which was a mistake because too gay; suddenly I could be stereotyped as a grooming poofter pedophile.

Today I realised that there’s a moment in the growing up process of little boys when, sadly, they realise that they’re different from their wonderful doting young mums, and they have to seek a role model elsewhere. Sad for their mums to be rejected like that, but so many young women are raising children on their own, what is the solution. A lot of us have divorced ourselves from the option of raising children, so good luck to all concerned.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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5 Responses to mother son

  1. Steadfast says:

    And yet I have, in my longish life as a gay man, always had nieces and nephews – biological and otherwise – to love and nurture and have the joy in return watching them grow through those stages from mewling infant through the glorious childhood of adventures and mental development and then the difficult teenage years 14 – 21 (being called out late at night to gather them up from peer parties and ensure they are safely seen home). And then the emergence in the early 20’s when they think less of themselves and more of others as they hit the big-love for the first time. Always for me there have been waves of children to play with, care for, dote on, and challenge to grow the mind. Being “Uncle” is perhaps the most defining aspect of who I am. The joy and reward is in the process which I guess is true in parenting. My observation, over the years, is that one or two parents aren’t enough; that a child needs (chooses) others to be close to and learn from – usually 6 people in all – and the more stable (there for the long haul) that 6 is the safer and more balanced the child. One’s children, youths, young adults, Uni students, newly weds, parents … all see you as the safe supplier of their care/mind/needs. Gay Uncles and Aunts add to the rich dimension of the world.

  2. nicole coulson says:

    Well I like your story and it is so true but you must stay for the child or the teen needs follow up from these people even as adults or behind the seens mentoring because Ive gotten dumped as a teen then further worse as an adult parent and yes I agree single parenting sucks if you havent those people you need around. I know we all need to have an adult lover to share with and I feel for those mums that get abandoned to go it alone. Nicole

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