I want to be sympathetic and understanding, but I chafe against his constant presence, his need to be near me, his persistent fear that we might be separated by something as large as death or as small as a closed door.
It's the same reason that my children's toddler years were very difficult for me: I am a person who likes her space, physical and emotional. My son Carter is nine, almost 10, and living with him can feel like a constant invasion.
Here's the dirty secret under all this: it makes me angry. Sometimes, I am so unbearably mad that I end up yelling at him and then I am nearly swallowed up by my shame.
I know that he doesn't want to do the things he does. I know that he tries. I understand that all his infuriating behaviors are symptoms, not decisions he's making to drive me nuts.
Funny how thoughts don't necessarily control feelings, though I wish they did.
I'm looking for a message in here, or at least a point, but I can't find one. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I feel too crowded to think. Sometimes, I'm not philosophical at all about my son. Sometimes, being his mom is just hard.
Adrienne Jones lives in Albuquerque, NM. She writes the memoir blog No Points for Style.