Yesterday evening brought me one of the best conversations that I’ve had in the past 10 years, and it also brought the scariest moment of my life so far, which will only get worse.
Yesterday, my son, the same one who has tentatively come back into my life after being absent for many years called me up just to chat. I can’t honestly recall the last time I had such an engaging and profound conversation with anyone. We talked like peers, about such a crazy range of topics; veganism, the souls of animals, ISIS, liberalism, conservationism, Carl Jung, Robert Orwell, Rumi, girls, relationships, the brain, refugees, culture, racism…..It was an amalgam of thoughts and ideas and words.
My son, is the most interesting person I’ve ever met. He thinks and feels unlike anyone else, and he’s having a hard time finding his place in the world with a mind like his. It was tough to not be able to simply mother him into comfort, but it was nice to be able to simply listen to him and be there for him. The peers he has in his life at the moment aren’t meeting the challenges that he raises, and he won’t compromise on how he expresses himself or what he thinks.
I found myself feeling on one hand so proud of him, and on the other, so envious that I wasn’t more like him at his age. I wish I had not settled for what came into my path, and I wish I had been myself and not hid behind the image of the person I felt I needed to be to fit in. I’m amazed at the fierceness of his convictions.
I felt so alive after we got off the phone. As though portions of my brain that had been laying dormant for a long time, stretched and flexed their muscles, thankful for the opportunity to move around. It was pretty cool.
He hadn’t read 1984. One of the topics that we touched on was the media and the government and their control over us and I thought he’d get a kick out of the fact that nothing’s changed in over 50 years. It’ll be neat to hear his thoughts on the book once he’s done.
The scary part of our conversation was his telling me that it’s a 100% certainty that his unit is being deployed to Iraq in May. His being in the Army has become real now. I’m scared. Losing him would kill me, but I can’t begin to bear the idea of his daughter growing up without him.
I can only hope that something will happen to change the landscape of what’s going on in the Middle East between now and then.