Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Raising Children




{Mother's Tears
or Paul and Nasso
Even as a psychologist, my logical side, and emotional side are often at odds with (or even at war with) each other. It’s probably a result of being forced into a state of extreme survivalism as a child. I used my logic to save my life and/or avoid pain. Emotions poised like a runner waiting for the shot indicating they must Go-o-o-o. I capped them. I had to survive.
When I had my own children, I made a silent vow not to subject them to what I had suffered as a child. I ogled childhood through their eyes as they emerged from babies into little people. It was glorious. I was so entranced by the little lives I guided that I wrote the poem below, had it done up by an artist, framed it, and hung it on the wall surrounded by pictures of them.

One of my favorite memories is of three garden slugs that traveled up the stairs to our concrete platform outside our back door. They were feeding off of dry dog food from our dog’s dish. I came up with the idea that we should remove the dog’s dish (sparing our dog, Tag, the slime), plunk ourselves down, and feed the slugs ourselves. We’d lace ourselves up the stairs and enjoy ourselves with discovery. I’d have one child on either side of me. We’d pat the slugs and watch them eat. I had thought they would be slimy all over, but they’re not. Their upper bodies have a skin that is akin to snakes. It was a marvel. They greeted us every day during the season.

Boys grow into men. I made the transition easily, calling my men men. But these men could not transition into friendship with me—leaving me in an advisory capacity only. They became strong—stronger than me, and they reveled in it.

We all have trials with our offspring. Some are different—some the same. I guided my children with a firm and loving hand. I fought for or supplied everything they needed during their growing years and then some. My sons remember those traits as control and sought to impose that on me in retribution. Since I never saw control as an issue, I could not see it. Not until now. Perhaps a woman raising men alone was not a good idea.

My house is gone. My youngest—nearly forty-one-years-old—must go off on his own. He has stopped paying his way here, so I carry the burden. About ten days ago we had a conversation in which my son’s face screwed up in anger, and he loudly declared.

“You finally got control.”

My mind boggled, and I was stunned. I never saw control as an issue. The rules I applied were only in regards to safety and security. He has done some things to jeopardize our insurance coverage. If they cancel our house insurance, they cancel my mortgage. No roof for either of us. Rules are imposed on me as a homeowner—I just pass them along.

I’ve had to emotionally disconnect from my sons. Logically, I know I have to. But if there is one case emotions can rule—it is Love. Splitting off from the relationships I have with my sons now, and the relationships I had with them depicted in my poem is hard. As I age, I want to hold on to those happy memories I had with my little men without the difficult times I have with them now merging. I want them to be pristine and pure. I gave up a lot but got much in return.

I don’t want the water to wash my sand castles away.

                                                                Paul and Nasso

                         Freedom flies
                       in those blue skies
                  but not for me to follow

                    My freedom lies
                   down here below
              in little Paul and Nasso

          Constellations rise and flow
     still, they are not for me to know
              When time for dreams
                  comes to go
      there's always Paul and Nasso

             Though they twinkle
              though they glow
               I reach to touch
             but stop, I know
             that such is not
           for me there's all
  in precious Paul and Nasso

            Warm cold nights
            we spend, we do
    Paul and Nasso and me, too
          My stars they shine
            Oh yes they do
My sweet, sweet Paul and Nasso
Pas ad Nans

Piven fis


Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen

About the Author: Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker. Inquiries can be made at
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritorindependiente y orador público. Las consultaspuedenhacerse en

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I couldn't get a better picture, probably because of the glass. Changed the whole thing instead.
It's a photo. I will try to use my camera to get a better shot tomorrow. I put the poem down the bottom of the post in case folks wanted to read it. Life is hectic, so I did a quick job.
Thank you for the shares, Lisa Vanderburg
#2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 What great comments, all of you. Lisa Vanderburg. What is there to add? Nothing methinks.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #8

You are a fine dad, I bet your sweet bee-hind Pascal Derrien! :)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #7

Parenting is tricky I too want to pass on a different a experience to my twos and by doing so maybe we become so obsessed in achieving it that we produce the opposite , not by intent obviously as we see control as protection, they don't get it and maybe they don't need to understand from where it does come from, ignorance is bliss and not always a rewarding quality. I take it day by day at this stage :-)

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #6

Yes, I see what your saying more now about interdependence Harvey Lloyd. Reaching that, they are ready. I think sometimes it just takes awhile for fully adult kids to be ready to look back at their parents and become interested. Mine did anyhoo.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #5

Maybe a poor person to quote but, Bill Cosby stated that, Parenting is the only job that once you get it, you lose the job. Recent studies and understanding of our development process really does establish that children move from total dependance, and i mean total, to independence, which waxes and wanes to interdependence, hopefully. The transition between dependence and interdependence or better know as the age of infinite wisdom, is that place where children stretch their existence and we need to be the practice dummy in helping them leave the nest (unconditional love.). If we can get them acclimated to the independance then we now have the task of showing them interdependence. This final phase of success building in our children is the toughest. Yea independance has a lot of mouth but no substance. Interdependence is demonstrating in real time risk management with others. Without getting mad, apathetic or defensive. Realizing that merging into each paradigm many skills and needs exist. Finding your place within the paradigm instead of carving out your own existence within the group. We need to provide entrance and exit ramps of interdependence for others to use. This opens up the gateways of others for us to use theirs. When the drivetrain of the car and the body get together, they go places.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #4

I love your sense Harvey Lloyd and applaud your comment here. So true that we can get so caught up in the paradox that we'd miss our kid's need for struggle to attain emotional growth.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #3

The "seven habits of highly effective families" was a great walk through parenting. I must say if it wasn't but one thing learned is, as parents we build our children. We love them too, but we build them from love. This was a difficult understanding for my wife as the children were growing older. I was out of town a lot in those younger years so she had the whole shootin match to deal with. Once i realized i needed to be home as the children got to the age of infinite wisdom it really hit home the love vs building paradox. From children we desperately want the reflection of love as we send out our signals. Amazingly what we don't see is that children wrestle with emotional development as they grow from dependant to independant (teenagers). Once i saw that, children became a lot easier to handle, not necessarily like, but manageable. The graduation moment for being a parent is knowing i can die and they will be OK. It came a few years ago. They reached the age of interdependence. They don't like it much, relying on others and faith but they understand it.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #2

Oh I feel your pain Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee, even if it's a more diluted version. But you have identified the 'why' which I could not. Only now can I see the reason many mothers & adult sons fall out. Without a male to take the role of discipline-r, you have to. Same for me as my husband did not want the role, so it fell to me. We can love our boys and be just in our discipline, but male children take it differently; as 'control' which is the last thing on our minds! I'd love to hear from two guys about this: CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

4 years ago #1

When mothers raise children to maturity, so voluminous is the favor that children can never repay the slightest pain of childbirth!

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