vendredi, mars 16, 2012

When a child dies

A day after a young man in our school district died (his family doesn't want to release details of his death), the tributes continue to show up on the Facebook page his friends set up in his honor.

Tony (not his real name) went to a small school, and his death echoed through the halls, with grief counselors waiting to talk to students.

The students who attended the high school where he was a freshman speak of his sense of humor, his gentleness, his many interests, and his generosity.

As the parent of a fourteen-year old, I am riven by the heartbroken voices of this teenagers on the journey to becoming young men and women -- struggling to understand something that no one should ever have to understand.

They don't know their own beauty yet -- they don't know the light they shine in dark places.

To this middle-aged mom, they are still so very young.

When a friend at the district told me about his death, my thoughts went to the counselors and teachers at the school -- who, inevitably, wiill be asking themselves what they missed, and if they could have done more.

I know those questions all too well -- only time will heal. The pain this young man was in must have been, as one of his friends put it, unbearable.

Why do some of our children have to deal with so much -- and others live in comfort and stability?

Why? Why? Why? I thought as I pruned the bushes in my backyard, outside the newly renovated house, my vision blurred by tears.

Rest in peace, dear child. You were one of us -- you were, and are loved by those who knew you, and who grieve for who you were, and might have become.

And we, who didn't know you, pray that when the next child in pain walks into our lives, we will be there at the right time.

In two weeks, Tony would have been fifteen years old.

mercredi, mars 14, 2012

She who has been left

Touching his hand

Hinting only at grip

Doe-eyed she glistens

Never the betrayer

Not stop to wonder

Does she ever look inside to the why and who



Choking on the truth

The terror not the other woman

But that inside of her

Truth be told there could always be another

If freedom is not to become cuffed


Afield only in fantasies

Silent in life

mardi, mars 13, 2012

Ramblings with the boy

When is he going to rebel?

I ask myself that sometimes, when it seems as though my son and I are living in our own eccentric universe of conversation, books and dialogue on all creatures small (our cats) and great (the stars and planets).

Hard to tell how we got to this place, where anything is fair game, from conversation about politics to that about his relationship with his girlfriend (she's moving back to NYC this summer, which is hard on him).

Yesterday he was running a fever, and so we decided he should stay home. Fretting over missing the PSSA's (do you think there's money in serving as a potential poster boy for the tests?) he was happy to go back to school this morning.

But I put aside work yesterday so that we could go out for a walk, and talk about subjects of interest to both of us -- Syria, Amnesty International, his Boy Scour trip, God, baseball (go Yankees) and his middle school pals.

He'll be gone a lot this summer, and I'm working to finish my degree, so we don't have that much time to hang out together and share that easy companionship. For all of our deep bond, he is very independent and doesn't mind taking up the mantle of leadership.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if we are too close and if he needs to establish his own identity -- against mine. I am guessing that other moms have the same question as their sons grow into young adults.

Do I need to help him push me away? Do I have to?

Or, if I am giving him enough space, will it just happen by itself at some point?

I find that I'm not eager to propel him. Achievement and idealism have their own trajectories.

But I'll still be on the sidelines, in his corner. Always..

lundi, mars 12, 2012

When "naughty" isn't nice

I first learned that the word "naughty" had sexual connotations a few years ago from an acquaintance of mine high up in the entertainment industry (and no, I'm not talking adult entertainment).

His activities, including the dressing up at a Catholic priest variety, could safely be described as naughty.

Yes, I found them a bit offensive. But even more than offensive, I found them silly. Maybe I've seen too many priests to get a charge out of guys wearing black shirts and white collars.

I've even dressed up as a priest myself.

As I heard more about alternative lifestyles, I began to understand that "naughty" covered a lot of territory, from kink like bondage to other things I will not describe to spare the sensibililties of my readers.

And what I began to realize was that the word "naughty" was a cover ( pretty funny when you think about it, as uncovering things is so much a part of the lifestyle.)

The word reduces adult choices, and adult aftermaths, to something a child might do on a playground.

This became apparent to me when guys would write me and say that they had "naughty" streaks (which usually seemed to mean that they were a bit consumed with anatomy).

What they do with their private time is their own business. I had no wish for it to become mine....

But it really began to tick me off when married men would describe themselves as seeking women for "naughty" activities.

There's another word for that, losers.

The kink world is welcome to use the word to describe what they do -- not that I could stop them, anyway.

But I'm going to continue to save it for times when I want to cause a little trouble (usually linguistically) and be able to take the consequences -- like a woman.