Michael and Dragana - Mum and Son or Mighty Pals
To Michael with Love
Michael’s home birth was all going majestically well (if such a word could be used for an act devoid of any grandeur!) until at some point in the second/third hour just before he was about to pop out, he had a change of heart and half withdrew back into the womb (. . . for the following 12 hours). Excruciating. Midwifes were puzzled and for years afterwards this bugged me – why the sudden pull back from revealing himself onto the world?
Michael loved pink - until he was about five or six, that is. Came back from school one day and exclaimed he hated pink. I had had a sense peer pressure would eventually win – too many abominable pink connotations: ‘girly’ sissy, unmanly . . . even amongst boys of that young age . . .
But what Michael could not denounce (hard as he tried in later years) was his tender, sweet and deeply sensitive side, pink or no pink.
Michael was between two and three years old when for a few brief moments he saw glimpses of Titanic. There was a very subtle change in his body and when I bent down to look at him I saw tears streaming down his little face, with no sound or any visible movement. He was deeply sad that people were hurting.
Michael has always been people’s person. When he was little he would fully exercise his ability to connect with people and did not like sensing any struggle or suffering. His love of people was palpable from very young.
I will never forget a rather unpleasant episode I endured in former Yugoslavia when Michael was 16 months. He clocked I was upset even though I did my best to not show any signs in front of him. At some point he picked up my face firmly yet tenderly in his little hands, eyes locked, his nose almost touching mine and said, ‘I love you mummy’. His touch felt much older than his age and so did the look in his eyes, as if to say; Mum you are grander than any obstacle.
From Michael: Mama Mia
Mum is my best friend. We have the best relationship I could ask for. We have so much fun doing anything and everything together especially travelling. The thing I look forward to the most on our trips to Europe is the time we get to spend together; working, writing, resting, cooking, cleaning, project venturing and interacting with people.
She has a great sense of humour, is an amazing home-maker and home-maintainer. She is also capable of making a 7 course meal from a content of the fridge that you could fit into a small purse. Seriously, I’m not joking. I would look in the fridge and think to myself, “Man, Pasta and cucumber sticks again…” Then mum would get home and in half an hour there’d be 2 different salads, soup, veggies, main course and dessert! Oooh her desserts… don’t even get me started!
Mum has dedicated her life to Truth, integrity and service. As a very good friend once said: “Dragana is integrity, fortitude and decency personified."
This has had a massive influence on myself. I am not by any means an ordinary young man by today’s standards. I don’t drink, take drugs, wipe myself out by staying out all night or get glued to social medias and gaming world. On the contrary, I work in retail full-time, study maths full-time, volunteer for not-for-profit and charity organisations, I cook, clean, look after our home and its maintenance, support mum with technological projects, self-teach piano, I am a host on my Students’ Union Radio Show, member of a political party and a genuinely loving and caring human being.
With hand on the heart, I can say that without my mum, my life would have been (as it once was) full of; booze, drugs, sleeping around, rejection issues, body issues, withdrawal from society, disregard for the home, nowhere near the dedication or commitment towards work that I have now, I would definitely not be at Uni – In fact I wouldn’t have probably passed my A-levels!
He was a boy and now a man who (unlike his mother) could not hold grudges even if you paid/pushed him to.
As Michael reached teenage years travelling with him became a whole new experience where he started taking care of the luggage, travel plans and his old mama.
He and I can laugh heartily at simplest of things – playing ‘Man don’t get Angry’ on Monaco beach could get us both in hysterics of laughter. Game of Yatzee in Klosters, a Swiss skiing gem, would have us in tears of laughter . . . A few stand up comedians would have us both rolling on the floor holding onto our stomachs.
But we also know how to be serious and to look at the world’s perplexities from all angles bringing more of our own understanding and responsibility into equation.
I never tire or get bored of listening to Michael. Love the gentle/firm combo innate expression he can hold. And his detachment, complete absence of any desire to persuade/convert his ‘opponent’ fellow conversationalist.
In secondary school Michael went through what he refers to as his “side-track years” – a term borrowed by a dear friend of his with similar experience. During that era, there were moments when it was very hard to remain a simple observer. But, as the choice would have it, I had a support of an amazing friend, Serge Benhayon, and the wisdom he shared then, still pulsing through my awareness: “You need to understand that our kids (Michael) is not yours to own but to help reflect so that they can make true choices. For Michael it is all a possibility as it is for you. Life is just that – a school of choices.”
With Serge’s guidance, barrels of love and insightful reflections I have learnt that all I could and am to do is live in a way that Michael would be inspired to live that too - whenever HE felt ready. And if he chooses not to, there would be no recrimination. Love only. Always.
He does not shy away from lifting me off the floor in a public space (including his work place) when giving me a hug. To today’s date Michael loves coming to my bed for a snuggle first thing in the morning and or last thing at night. He is not reluctant in expressing his love, his admiration/adoration of me and his gratitude for inspiring him to be the amazing man he is today.
Each day our relationship is morphing more and more into one of deeper friendship leaving mum/son behind, to those early growing years
P.S. Any Serbian scholars should hear Michael speak Serbian – his is the version that ought to be adopted. There would be social and political harmony if they all spoke like he does. Sweetness and light personified.
I could go on, but you get the picture. I’m not a huge fan of the saying “Behind every great man there is a great woman” but in this case, I certainly am somewhat of a Super-Man by the virtuous presence and reflection of this inspirational Super-Woman.