The Middle Place

10294385_10203801221296115_2475776669019344581_nA while ago I read this book by Kelly Corrigan entitled The Middle Place. It was all about the shifting nature of familial relationships. We are born and we become the new generation, the young whipper-snappers who will inherit the world when we come of age.

But then we come of age and we’re not so young anymore. Then time moves on, we have our own children, and they become the new generation, the young whipper-snappers who will inherit the world. But where does that leave us?

We end up stuck between worlds, which made a bunch of sense to me then, and which makes even more sense now. We are no longer young. We are not yet old. We are fathers and mothers, but we are still sons and daughters at the same time. We are in the middle place, and it can be very awkward at times.

I remember when Alexa was born and how inadequate I felt. Suddenly I was somebody’s father, but I didn’t feel like a father. I felt like a gangly 18-year old with braces who doesn’t know his ear from his elbow. Now, finally, 10 years later, I do feel like a father. I feel like I’m mature enough to say, “Yes, I’m her dad,” and I can handle everything that comes along with that.

But when I’m back around my own mother I have a tendency to feel like that 18-year old again, even now. Probably because I fall back way too easily into those learned patterns that existed for years in that household. Perhaps if I spent a lot of time around her it would be easier to develop different paradigms, but seeing her only twice a year or so makes that difficult.

So I’m in that middle place, that space between the generations that feels so foreign, but only when I’m around both generations. If I’m just here with my children it’s easy to feel like the man of the house, to be the father and only the father. The son melts away into the shadows then. And when it’s just me around my mother I’m simply the son, and the father waits for me until my children show up again.

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, at least for now, and I guess it beats being the youngsters entrusted with the future. But we are the present. We are the ones most equipped to deal with the “now,” and that’s scary in and of itself. But we got this. Because we are in the middle place, and it’s where we finally belong.

Sam

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

joypassiondesire

From no self-esteem to total self-empowerment

greengatephoto

A great WordPress.com site

Cozy Corner

A Writer's Journey

Whose Wine Is It Anyway?

Exploring life, love, lifting, and (almost) literally everything else, frequently aided by laughter and libations

Dr. K. L. Register

Just a small town girl who writes about Christian stuff.

Sara Furlong

Strategic freelance writer specializing in online content, articles, web copy, & SEO.

%d bloggers like this: