Friday, January 13, 2012

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Sometimes, the opposite can be true.  These past couple months have been more "one small step for mankind, one giant for [a] man.  My young man.

For many parents, evidence of learning, development, and progress are important benchmarks that are usually tied to their child. Sometimes these are obvious by a grade on a test, a mastery of a sport, but there are times when you are shown success and progress in understated and quiet ways.

Having just spent four days with my young man, he showed me new aspects of his life and his psyche.  When your child grows to look at you in your face and there is no difference between height and weight--we must see them in a new light.  When changes affect hair, face, body, and voice--then we must see them in a new light.  When ideas, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs become more sophisticated--then we must see them in a new light.

I had the light shine on me and it was sublime.  I basked in that light as if I was coming out of a dark and grey hibernation.  I can't say that adolescence is like a walk along the Seine across from the Pont des Arts, however the feeling of truly watching your child blossom into a young adult is pretty illuminating.

There will be tussles, tugs, tears, and turmoil, but as you walk through this time in their life with them (and promise not embarrass at the same time) your relationship deepens.  Hopefully they see you as a resource, a support, a net to fall into.  They know your love for them is deeper than even you imagined.  

And they tell you as such.  
And you know they mean it.

In turn, they give something of themselves to you.  They don't know that they are doing this, and please, don't tell them.  But they give you a glimpse into their future.  They share with you a burgeoning adult who can articulate who they are, what they stand for, who moves them and why.  They begin to articulate this in words, deeds, and gestures.

Shhh. . . .  Be quiet, be still, and don't move quickly.  Or you will miss the quiet moments when the young man lets his guard down and allows you to be part of his world.  Just for those moments--he is still yours.

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