It's Christmas day. I got home from work yesterday at noonish and sat around watching aimless tv reruns, hoping for what, I don't know. My younger son's room was dark: I had't heard him come in last night. Thought maybe he'd gone out and stayed, knowing I'd banned Christmas. I waivered a little. Ate some homemade cookies. What did I want? It felt odd to be alone. Shamefully passive. I could be hauling out the ladder and fixing that light. I could be working out and losing that extra weight. I could be reading something worthwhile instead of the mindless drone of news and popified science (Ben Franklin would have gotten fried if lightning had really struck his kite; Charles Darwin got seasick a lot). Fucking natural selection and my slender stock of genetic material. Did I push Jesse too hard? Was there something I could have done differently? Oh, that's what I want. Impossibilities.
Then I heard the door open from his brother's room. And I knew that all I wanted, really, was to have dinner with my son, someplace he liked. So we did.
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post. I'm happy for those I've inspired, that means more to me than I can say. Topazz, artnsoul, thank you for your stories. It helps to know that your experiences are so similar to mine with young adults. I remember feeling the same way about my own mother. How hard it is to flip that mental coin and put myself in her shoes, what she must have felt like trying to reach out to me in my early twenties. I was horrible. I know my own childhood held plenty of justification for it; but she's changed/changing, and those awful memories fade. How much has she changed? She volunteers now, the things that she did that were wrong. At some point I'm not sure it's about forgiveness any more: it's about trying to construct some kind of relationship out of what parts you've got left. We went to Italy for a week and got along fine. That would have been impossible even a few years ago. I can still tell the urge in her to cross boundaries she has no right to cross, I can hear her check herself in conversation. It's a lesson. A coin to flip on myself.
And arch, yes. Worse than a lost limb, but an urretrievable mutilation. I think I'll pour us that drink now. Cheers.