Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wow, I Actually Heard From My Son

For those of you who don't know, don't care, or don't remember, my son Wally and I have been more or less estranged for the past month and a half. This (in my view) due to him allowing himself to be drawn into the soap opera that plays in an endless loop in his father's head.

All contact has been extremely brief, mostly in the form of text messages. Well, he called me out of the blue this evening. Because I was right in the middle of a meeting, it was hard to talk, and it wasn't really a social call anyway. He wanted to (I guess) remind me that college would be starting soon and there are certain administrative tasks that have been assigned to me in this regard. I acknowledged the message and called him back after the meeting was done. I was trying to think up conversation starters on the fly; he answered a few questions and then told me had to go.

Needless to say, this situation is painful, but I'm trying to be philosophical. Wally is the same emotional & social age at nearly 19 that I was at about 24, and I remember clearly how much I wanted to distance myself from my parents. They've been gone almost 20 years and I miss them and appreciate them more than I ever expected to ... but I have to ask myself quite honestly whether these feelings would be here if they were still alive. I don't know if it's the loss or the natural development of maturity that causes us to appreciate our parents more. Most likely it's a combination of both, and it's not the same for everybody.

So I try to see the relationship with Wally through his eyes, and content myself with knowing that one day he will be in a very different place than he is now. He'll have a solid career, good earning potential, be in control of his own life, not dependent upon Doug or me, and able to see the humor and irony in some of the events of his still-young life.

I hope he will get to understand the truth -- about his father, about me, about Carl, about life in general.

And I accept that it may take a very long time.

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