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Ono and Lennon weren't always so close. "When I first had him, John is the one who really wanted to take care of him. Until he was five, it was mainly John who was looking after him," she says. "Then, after John's passing, of course we hugged each other and it was just terrible, you know? So we were together." But like many children of celebrities, Lennon sought out time away from the spotlight as he grew up. "In his 20s, he just wanted to be himself, independent. So that was a hard time—most mothers go through that."

Despite the warnings that working with Lennon might put a strain on their relationship, Ono says the collaboration brought the two closer than ever. "It's a very hard job, and when you are doing something very important like this, you have to really do it together. It was good because it meant we were together a lot, instead of me waiting for his phone calls," she says. "I was surprised. When we got together and started to do the music, he knew all my songs, all John's songs, and all of the Beatles' songs too. Not in the usual sense, like 'Oh, I know that song.' Not like that. He knew exactly the beat, the intro."

So now that they've conquered working together, what's the next obstacle facing mother and son? Perhaps another age-old conundrum: the mother-son-girlfriend triangle. Lennon's dating model Charlotte Kemp Muhl, but so far so good. "I love her! It's a funny thing: I was lucky in that she's so intelligent and a very agreeable person, so it's not hard to like her. Most people do, really," Ono says. "If you are in a situation where you are stuck with someone that you don't like but you have to be there, that's hard, isn't it? So I think I'm very lucky."

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