Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Stagnant airports

Posted on April 3, 2014 - Filed Under self reflect

Sitting in the stagnant Tampa Airport awaiting a flight to California, I find myself reviewing the memories tucked in broken (hidden) pages on this blog. I wonder how many pages I have truly written on my life and adventures, feelings and parenting, losses and grief. There are underlying themes in the stories, tasty morsels of information like bread crumbs to where I am standing now… I read them, considering where I was in that moment, not knowing where I would be. I feel curious about the reflections that so clearly pointed HERE! How is that possible? How did my inner guide know all these things would provide me space for what was to come?

Perhaps the favorites include stories of Justin as I wander the mysteries of his development and self expression, and stare wide eyed at the stories I could be telling… There is longing in the safety of some familiar memories, a sense of loss for the friendship I have left behind (or has left me), and a sense of delight in the delectable tales of playfulness and adventure. Regardless, I still find myself reading them, like an old book on the shelf that I have revisited time and time again, wondering who the author is that sounds so familiar, so well tuned to the story of my life. And I pine for all the stories I have let tumble and become buried among layers of other experiences like leaves before the peak of winter sleep, whose scent is muffled and “feel” layered by many other textures.

Each visit to see my son, I am vaguely aware of shifts into manhood. I see the kid, yet hear the man in the manner in which he speaks to me, and the tenderness of his willing hugs. I see his eyes, bright with self awareness and a world of adulthood, open and breathing, and yet closed to the things he does not yet realize I already know. I don’t feel I need to do or say anything other than offer an open hand at times, not because he needs it, but rather, so he knows it is still there. And I feel gentle about the desire he has for privacy, yet sometimes wildly desperate to know what he thinks about this new world in his eyes. I wish to dive into that fabulous mind and know the universe the way he does right now. I want to feel all the calculations and planes of thinking that make him so brilliant and yet so different from those in his peer group. I don’t think I have ever been more in love other than the day I first held his squealing little body to my breast, and stared into his eyes until I was lost in the innocence of the creature I had just brought into the world. And the pains of that labor worth every bated breath and agonizing tear.

Perhaps I am just getting older, and the revel of what I no longer have seeps into the fabric of my identity and can not easily be separated despite the ways that he continues to take steps away and into his own life. I am now, like a tree, whose arms are bent and long, and he a seed taken by the wind.

I am hopeful, one day, we can sit and have long conversations as he watches his own family dance before him. I am hopeful he will offer me insight into his world, his experiences, his love and agony, and his dreams and disappointments… Only so that I can hold different stories than the ones that I know within the lens of my own experiences. So that I know him more deeply. I can only hope he will trust me enough, to hold those stories, without judgement or imbalance, so that I can share regard for all that he has become and the paths that have lead him there.

It is hard to sooth the sense of protection I shoulder for him. I know it serves no purpose other than to attempt and control my own anxiety, to impose on him advise or direction because I am afraid. I have to continually remind myself to trust his inner guide, that knows what lessons he is to learn, that gives him the optional paths and allows him to make each journey a part of all that he will become. And, I recognize the ways in which I have endeavored, held to conscious parenting as best I could, so that he might have some semblance or sense of whimsy in navigating the world. I am unsure how to write my stories of him now, conscious of his need for privacy. Yet how I experience him is my story as well, and I hope not to lose more of the gentle leaves of experience amidst the layers before the next winter comes… All this in a stagnant airport, with nothing better to do but tumble and stretch in the leaves of my retrospections.


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