NDJ:4 Michael R. Bieber, PhD

I never told my mother that . . .

. . . one of my favored childhood memories is her reading to me.

I never told my mother than when I was twelve years old I thought she was pretty, standing in front of her dresser, combing her short salt-and-pepper hair and wearing her navy blue shirtdress as she prepared to go to her book club. My mother always said we were such good children.

I never told my mother that I thought she was more thoughtful about going to church than about how her children felt.

I never told my mother that I don’t believe in religion. It has never made any sense to me.

I never told my mother that I felt she abandoned me, my brother and sisters, as our father descended into severe mental illness and alcoholism.

I never told my mother that when I was a teenager I wanted to live somewhere else, in another family, at boarding school, somewhere else.

I never told my mother that I blamed her when my father died – a man she loved but did not understand.

My mother always said we were such good children.

I never told my mother that when I finished reading all of Winston Churchill’s writings I felt I knew as much as she did.

I never told my mother that when she sent me balloons to celebrate my acceptance into psychoanalytic training, and emailed a “bravo” when I graduated, I felt loved.

I never told my mother that I admire her at eighty-six years old, still going to her book club, church and happily flying to her grandchildren’s graduations and marriages.

I never told my mother that I don’t tell her bad news anymore. She does not like to hear it and I don’t want my feelings hurt, so I don’t tell her. I tell her the good news about my life with Karen and our children.

My mother always said we were such good children.

Advertisements