Do I Follow?

The first week of my last semester of grad school has passed. Surreal? For sure. My elder son’s 12th birthday this week… beyond surreal… what is the word for that? Disorienting… yes. It is slightly disorienting to be the mother of a 12 year old. All those thoughts I had when he was little of “this is gonna come out again when you’re older” are coming to pass. He’s a brilliant, articulate, self aware, kind, conscientious kid. I’m really proud to be his mom. I know we’re all supposed to feel that way, but it’s an actual true feeling, of damn, that’s MY child. Wow.

There’s this song I’m kind of obsessed with right now: I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li.

Not sure exactly why, but this song’s got me by the guts. Am I looking for someone to follow? Am I accepting how others follow me? The song is probably more about a romantic relationship, but for me, it speaks to a parent/child dynamic.

I run deep, I run wild, and the boys follow me without question. It’s a strange feeling to be the head of a family. I’m here for my kids in a way that my parents weren’t. My babies were a huge motivation to make something out of my life. I have no idea where I’d be if it weren’t for them. Really. Nothing cut through the bullshit like having two little dependent beings. I remember thinking “I’m going to make you proud” when E was born. And I keep making that commitment to them.

Your kids will follow you to the end of the earth until they learn better. I want to lead my sons to the biggest ocean I can, where they can be free to go as far as they want. I’ll be the river, running deep and wild, leading them to the open sea. I don’t need to run to them, they’re following me.

I’ve never followed anyone. Ever. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. My parents did their best to teach me what not to do. “Just don’t be like me and you’ll be better off” is still the refrain of our dynamic. So, maybe the song is speaking to the part of me that yearns for a river to follow. Maybe I’m looking for deeper water to wade in. Maybe. I don’t know what it would feel like to trust someone enough to follow them. Hell, I don’t even know what that looks like.

I don’t know. I can see graduating as emptying into a new body of water. What will the world feel like in 6 months? I don’t know. Maybe a higher education is the river I’m following. Makes sense in a way, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I love this song 😉

Do I Follow?
  • asociologyphdstudent

    oo congrats!!! That must be very exciting!! I have 4 more years of course work and its sort of dreadful to think about it sometimes, but I need to keep my head up and look at things positively!

  • airial

    Thanks!! I actually wish I had four more years. Really. If I get the chance to study more, it will have to be when my sons are ready.