Are you good with untangling this, Mom? Alex asked. By “this” he was referring to the pair of ear plugs that he handed me. “It will take me a while”, I told him.

As I went about pulling one end of it and u-looping the other end, I thought hmmm this can be relaxing as long as I take my time with it. I have no deadline. Alex doesn’t mind the wait as long as he is occupied with texting on his cell phone.

Untangling life is not as easy though.

Alex gets incredibly angry at me often, because his  privileges are taken away from him, one by one, when he defies me, when he doesn’t “behave” the way I envisioned a decent human being to behave, as I say to him. Like the Incredible Hulk, Alex transforms into one giant rock of fury. The maternal voice within asks, “whose child is this?”.  Who are you, and what have you done with my son?

Many days we are two islands whose edges barely touch. But we are two islands basking in the sun, surrounded by sea, under the sheltering sky. When night falls, the stars illuminate and make our little islands visible to one another, to navigate from one to the other, and back.


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