July 21, 2011
Kids pick up on the darndest things-- never know what mine is going to 'get' of what I do, and what just slides by. Today he was in the basement going through two large trunks of household items that we've collected for him to take with him when, someday, he leaves MY house and adopts his own mess, leaky roof, overgrown grass...you get the picture, right? Lately, he's paid a great deal of attention to what's in there and what needs (in his opinion) to be added to it. Today he decided that he wanted my carbon steel butcher knife instead of the molybdenum one I put in his trunk. He cares? Apparently.
"I really like the feel of the one that's in the kitchen."
Go figure. And so I told him to put a note on the inside of the lid of the trunk that he can, when he moves, trade one butcher knife for the other. I care? Uh, noooooo.
And then I asked him why the trunks were holding his interest these days.
He told me of hearing parents and kids talk about not being ready to be on their own and that he knew he had so much more to overcome than they did for that to happen. "And yet," he said, " "I'm the only one with a HOPE chest."
"Two hope chests, yes. Validation?"
Just a little sideways smile and a nod.
I tacitly took more credit than I deserved regarding this revelation of his. The hope chests were not planned as validation for him, not at all. The traditional collecting of stuff with which to stuff a kid's initial home as an adult was always aimed at young women and I thought that young men should also have that wellspring of necessary items. And I threw in some very nice ones, too...why not... That he saw it as a vote of confidence in him was serendiptous. I'll take the credit, because I know that even when doubtful facts hang thick as cones on a hemlock, Hope matters.
March 27, 2012
Today Nate asked if what he buys for his hope chest has to coordinate with what I've purchased.
"Of course it does!" I teased with a dead serious look on my face. (Hey, he's got to learn nuance and intent SOMETIME, especially if he's going to use the contents of those chests!)
He stared at me a moment, then his face clouded over, "I can't believe you said that!"
I took off my glasses, batted my eyelashes at him and smiled sweetly.
"Oh," he sighed, "very funny." Then excitedly he dug into his backpack and brought out a paper bag from the gourmet cookware shop in town, "Mom, this is sooooo cooool..."
Hope. Favor returned. Thank you, son.
I thought that I would faithfully write about the journey in raising my son. The more I wrote, the more solid I became in my convictions to organize this brain that wasn't mine, to train into it some alien pliable form that was not going to stay on track anyway, and otherwise teach what seemed unteachable. Daily writing brought too much verbal thinking into my own visually-oriented mind to allow me to grasp the world in which my son immersed himself. And so...I embraced my own scattered nature, my own visual and spatial world, and became a part of his world. We were much happier -not that the road was smooth- when I invited my son into our world, slowly enticing him into space, a tentative shared space, between his universe and ours. I hope to share insights from the past, present, and future as I continue to ease the transition of this young man into an adult world. The only proven method I use is ages old -- I honor who he is and help him find people and places who do the same... square pegs fit nicely into soft putty that molds around them...and the push into plasticity is gentle.