There is a strange new man living in my house. He is tall, dark and handsome. Apparently, he is also extremely smart. He’s always brandishing this alleged intelligence and for some odd reason, constantly feels the need to remind me of his self-proclaimed autonomy. But it’s ironic…although he can drive a car, he can’t make a sandwich. And even though he’s able to decode insane chemistry equations, he looks at me like I’m speaking in Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice if I ask him to clean his room. This same “man,” who I am barely allowed to touch, also crawls into my room at 4 a.m. asking me if I have any medicine for his “tummy-ache.”
This paradoxical way of living is making me a little insane. If I relied on his feedback at all, I might be a bit schizophrenic and (only) slightly insulted. I have been told I’m a dictator, a crazy woman, completely irrational, and even a crack-addict! The unfortunate thing is, I’m not even sure that I completely disagree. Sometimes I feel like the wicked queen, wanting to wave my wand and banish him from my kingdom forever. Other days I feel psychotic, like I could literally strangle the life out of him that I imparted 16 years ago. At times, I cry, mourning the loss of childhood and sweet innocence. And on rare occasions, my sanity returns to me (if only briefly) and I am able to look into his eyes and see my child. I see his fears and struggles, his pain and insecurities, his dreams and failures. In an instant, he becomes a mirror to me and I am laid bare before my fears and struggles, my pain and insecurities, my dreams and failures. I am amazed and humbled as I realize that even though it seems that he is fighting against me, in reality, we are fighting together…fighting for his personhood, his character, his soul.
This stage of his life can only be likened to a second birth. Many days, I feel as though it is one big, fat, long contraction…sweating and toiling, but painful and very seemingly unproductive. But this time, I am not laboring to bring forth a child, I am laboring with my whole heart and soul to bring forth a fully grown man: a man who is loving and appreciative, respectful and kind, hard working and moral. This is not an easy task in today’s world. So to get through the labor pains, I keep before me the hopeful glimpses into his heart…images of him on the river, hunting with his dad and brother, the amazing photographs he takes, his hidden self-reflective side…and I find my hope that one day, the hard work will be over and standing before me will be an exceptional human being. Lord willing, we will be able to look back and laugh together at these days and what he has put us through.
And then…when time has passed and he’s grown and married and fathers my first sweet grand-baby, I will pull up my chair and popcorn and eagerly await for the arrival of my dear friend Karma!