Lately my significant other (aka Dad) keeps on saying that he wishes that our son and I “could just get along” and that he doesn’t want us to fight. He gets mad at me and the seven year old when we are having a war of wills. And it is a war of wills. We are both stubborn, headstrong and believe that we are always right. He is my son. Because of this, we are often engaging in small scale bickering over things like how he talks to me sometimes (like one of his school friends and not his mother) or his stubborn unwillingness to participate in family outings (like to see public art in Kakaako). My son’s Dad would like us to somehow not engage in the way that we do. I think that this stems from always being the family mediator in his house growing up. In that role, he grew to hate any kind of fighting and wanted to prevent it or mitigate it at any cost.
The thing is that I feel like that despite the arguments my son and I have, our relationship keeps growing stronger. We are almost always able to laugh when we are done; almost always and almost immediately after, sometimes when the tears are still drying. Sometimes arguing is the only way to make him actually listen to me. He thinks that he knows everything and tells me that I am not the boss of him and that he wants his own life. Most of the time I wouldn’t really even classify what is going on as arguing. It is more like a spirited disagreement. I like that we can disagree and at the end of the day love each other so completely.
I was not one of those mothers who were overcome by it all during pregnancy and childbirth. I loved my son to pieces, he was the cutest with these super long chicken legs but I couldn’t seem to muster the kind of emotion that I would read about on the baby boards I visited for advice. Sure I loved him a ton but when I would hear other women talk about their feelings at that time, I know that I didn’t share them. Maybe it is just my personality, hard to say. Again, I loved my son from the moment that he was born but it wasn’t until he got a bit older that I really started to feel that feeling from deep inside; that desperate love. I understand it now. Maybe it just takes some of us a bit longer to become completely entangled; connected; dependent; time needed to find and take ownership of the parent/child bond; to shift gears and learn to be OK with being the parent after being considered the child for so long. And I think that finally I am there; comfortable enough to keep up the fight.