29 March 2012

Rocket through the wilderness

The son and I are sitting in DFW en route to DCA. We've been shunted back and forth from gate to gate. I already have a far too intimate acquaintance with Concourse C from years of flying in and out of here.

This is a trip I really didn't want to take, but an expensive and life-important decision is riding on the weekend. This is how it goes. This is how we roll.

Last weekend, we went to see The Hunger Games. It's one of those stories that resonates differently with different generations. My kids, of course, thrilled to the action, the wise and wily children. For me as a parent, the idea of children battling to the death... There aren't even words.

Perhaps, though, the defining moment was near the end when Cato sobbed that this was what he knew, that he'd only been trained to kill. I just looked at the spouse. While we don't train our children to kill, we do tend to train them to a single purpose. Right now, I couldn't even tell you what that purpose is.

Like Katniss, I've never wanted what's been foisted on me with regards to raising my children. Insofar as it's been possible, we've avoided The Path, or what I more commonly refer to as the recipe or the cookbook. And in the process, I've pissed off a lot of people because my way has paid off. I've lost friends for following my gut and letting my kids follow their hearts.

Do I think my way is the only way? Gods, no. But for us, I still believe it was the right way. Could I have done it better? Gods, yes. Still, here we are. The boy, I think, is equipped to do amazing things if he so chooses. And now, it's up to him. And in time the daughter will follow.

This is how it goes. This is how we roll.

So here I am on airplane and despite my brave words, I feel a certain terror, hoping that I'm right and that I've done well by this child, that I've trained him to live a life, not just get into a top-rated university or several.

Go listen to some good music: "Roam" from the album Cosmic Thing by the B-52s.


Sent from my iPhone

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