Letting go of Her “Baby”
I, for one, am not father. I cannot express the love and fear for my child until I actually become a father. I do know a mother’s love runs deep though. Mothers are more nurturing, caring, more emotional and loving than a father in most cases. I know my mother hates that I am growing up so fast, she even tells me sometimes that she still wishes I was a little baby that she could hold in her arms and rock to sleep. “My Son the Man” by Sharon Olds expresses the same feeling that my mom does. She is afraid of her “baby boy” growing up and becoming a man.
I believe it is quite obvious that the poem “My Son the Man” is about a mother’s fear of her son growing up. When I first read the poem, I was torn between if she was about to give birth to her son, or if he was actually becoming a man. The cause of this confusion comes one line eleven, when Olds says “…when he pressed up through me like a/ sealed trunk in the ice of the Hudson.” When I re-read the poem, it was clear to me this was actually about her son becoming a man. The quotation from above was actually showing how time has flown by so quickly.
The fear and possible sadness of her son growing up is very clear and easy to point out. Some signs that pointed me in the right direction of the meaning of this poem was the very first line when Olds states “Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider.” I can honestly compare this line to the words my mom says every time I see her. Olds makes is very clear that she wishes that she could still hold her little son, she says in three through seven “It seems no time since I put him on his sleeper, guide his calves in to the shadowy interior, zip him up and toss him up and catch his weight.” The third and fourth line is once again showing how fast time has gone by and suddenly she can no longer put him in his sleeper. The fifth line is stating that she misses playing with her baby boy; she would toss him up and catch him.
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