Rats. The boy is gone. That means I must put Christmas away. I wasn’t even going to put it up at all if he hadn’t come down from Oregon. He did. So I did. I’m glad for it. I have an idea of why the Grinch was so omnipresent this year, but I put him to rest. Having my child home does that.
I became licensed in massage when the boys were 6 and 12 years of age. They grew up being touched therapeutically. All touch is therapeutic — which they received constantly — but on a table was extra special. They barely covered half of that table when I was learning. Today (the younger one is very vocal about getting his “special occasion” massages), I wondered who this handsome young man was in my studio.
Any trip home for both my sons comes haltingly. Their time is always divvied up between me and fathers, me and buddies. I would never want to be denied their company, so how could I deny others (she says glancing toward the ground, scuffing her foot around)?
Plying him with food and such will get him to accompany me to movies and on errands in town. We both also know it’s the best one-on-one time for conversations. It’s amazing to see how they grow and mature. It gives me hope.
However, his take on the world was a little two-sided: “Well, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but, you know, I don’t know how we can call this the greatest country in the world!”
He then launched into a litany of woes from health care, poverty and outlandish educational expenses (which he is now on the threshold of starting to make payments toward) to environmental degradation and bad politics.
I am really glad to know he is aware of these things. Knowledge is the key to making any changes, and I, like so many, put the fate of the world in their hands.
“Yeah, people are always saying that now I’m of a certain age,” he said. “You know, it could go either way — some of us are like, ‘Yeah, let’s handle this,’ and the others are like, ‘I’m gonna jump on and ride it out.’ ”
Truly, he wants to see things improve, and his caring and empathy are a good start. Now, if he can only get a job and not become one of the statistics to which he referred. … Seriously, I like being able to check in with someone his age to see where things might flow.
“I think that as all the old (blanks) retire and die off, so many of our issues will disappear. I mean, most of my friends could care less if you’re gay or want to marry or not.
“Most of us try to take care of each other the best we can, and most of us realize the health benefits of pot, so that should be decriminalized soon,” he chuckled.
I want to believe that’s true. Will our puritanical, fear-driven ways finally fade into a smoggy sunset? Or, will big money continue its reign over us all? On that point we agreed as well: The world is run by money.
That one will be the toughest nut of all to crack. But, I choose to believe this next generation is ready for it.