modaspia

pompeii and loneliness

 

we visited pompeii - hot and dusty and near the sea in italy.  in the distance was mt. vesuvius, the volcano who's eruption in 79 a.d. wiped out pretty much anyone who didn't evacuate the city.  we mostly walked around quietly looking into the dwellings, following paths through archways and listening from time to time to a nearby tour guide.  at this point in the trip i was heartbroken that my son wasn't really enjoying this kind of travel.  i think i cried 6 times while in europe. it was difficult, that part of the trip.  i think by the time we left for europe he was more interested in staying home for the summer and hanging out with his mates.  i spent a lot of time trying to make him happy or comfortable or just interested in whatever we were doing that day.  raising a teenager has opened up some parts of me i didn't know were still there.  just complete anxiousness, a feeling of being heartbroken, feeling overwhelmed or just overbearing.  a lot of these feelings i associate with some rocky relationships in my 20s - which sounds strange but if you have a teenager you might understand.  i didn't realize that when they begin to (as they should) move away from you a bit, distance themselves from you in order to grow into an adult some day, that it left you on the opposite side of the road looking on.  and that feeling is incredibly intense.  so pompeii .. i loved the quiet of the place. 

9 comments

Jul 27, 2017

: )

maiastras
Jul 27, 2017

I often find it lonesome, too, parenting teenagers. It almost feels like being one again, sometimes. xo

Jen
Jul 27, 2017

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. So many feelings we carry with us. And then and again they rise up. Ebb and flow.

Mary
Jul 27, 2017

kristina and laura .. xo

ursula
Jul 26, 2017

I am not sure how we survived my son’s teenagerhood, which was shot through with negotiating the pull-and-push away and back forces between him and us. There was is always tremendous love but how often, on the path to becoming his own person while yet wanting us always to ‘be there,’ feelings ran high and then into the lowest of lows and sloughs of despond! I never regret all we struggled through together. I did fear we would never see more him finding delight and joy in our shared experiences as he had when he was little. He turned 20 this year; even as he entered his late teens things seemed to becoming round. No easy task it is to give them space to grow into their own lives and selves (it wasn’t for me.. I have cringed at some memories!). — He may not know it now or wish to communicate it to you, but the trip will resonate and in a good and great and important way. And yes, please be kind to yourself!

kristina
Jul 26, 2017

Aww, mama. hugs I don’t have teenagers yet but I’m already a bit anxious about what lies ahead. It’s hard because you love your kids more with each passing day, but that love can be a bit more painful as feelings and your relationships become more complex. Their problems become more complicated, too—you aren’t worrying anymore about them getting hit by a car or breaking an arm from acting like fools on the monkey bars, but worrying about how they are relating to the world and what kind of people they are becoming. And they are no longer just your “babies” and you are no longer just their “mama bear”—you’re learning to relate to each other as complex human beings, and since teenagers are so new at it, they kind of suck at it, lol. I still look back and am pretty appalled at how some of my friends and I treated our parents at that age! But most of us grew up to have completely loving relationships with them, anyway. So hang in there.

laura
Jul 26, 2017

sol & lesa .. you know i almost took this post down last night. hearing your insight, from both perspectives, was well worth feeling a little embarrassed. lesa – yes i saw it, of course! i loved captain fantastic too .. also, there is a This American Life episode i keep meaning to tell you about .. if you hadn’t already heard it. an author who interviewed her 15 yr old son way back. the way he speaks .. kind of hesitant, shy and can’t be bothered attitude – oh my god. it sounded so familiar. and she is clearly always wondering if her son is happy, ok – why he’s distant. 15 yrs on he’s an adult – as happy as anyone can be and doing his own thing. i’ve listened to it 3 times.

ursula
Jul 26, 2017

“complete anxiousness, a feeling of being heartbroken, feeling overwhelmed or just overbearing” … as I’ve told you, I can absolutely relate to this. Be kind to yourself and know that what you’re feeling is a normal part of ‘letting go’ (not entirely, but just to give him room to do the growing he must do). So much easier said than done. And I’m sure he will ALWAYS have fond memories of your trip.

Have you watched 20th Century Women yet? Very interesting mother/son relationship. Also great soundtrack: Talking Heads, The Raincoats, The Germs, Suicide, Bowie, Buzzcocks, and others.

Lesa
Jul 26, 2017

Thank you for sharing your insights through such beautiful images and words. I remember being that teenager who didn’t want to travel with parents, instead wanting to spend time with friends. In the end I think that there comes a time when you reflect on these turbulent times and feel grateful for the experience, despite all difficulties. I think it’s another matter, however, as to whether such former teenagers will admit to these feelings later on in life!

maiastras

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