Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cake and Dura Mater

Do you have a command voice? An “I am HERE, I EXIST, and THIS IS WHAT I NEED” voice? Not everyone does. For those of us who have one, sometimes we forget this. And even for those of us who have one, we sometimes forget how to use it.

My youngest baby had a birthday yesterday. He turned 15. Fifteen years old. He’s a truly brilliant child. A deeply sensitive kid. He feels the world in ways most people never have and never will. Sound waves, the passage of light, the forces of movement, thought rumbles, the growling of hate and the sighs of love. This kid feels it all. Feels it in ways I cannot understand. If I believed in the concept of an “Indigo Child,” (which I steadfastly DO NOT) he would be one. The kid taught himself Danish for fuck’s sake. Which I originally thought was Norwegian thanks to Google Translate, but he quickly corrected me by pointing out that although they are both North Germanic languages and intersect each other with regional dialects, there is apparently a difference between Norwegian and Danish.  Oh my. 

My Andrew. Such a baby in so many ways. When he was younger, the realities of the world would overwhelm him sometimes. I’d catch him in his bedroom with his head buried in a pillow crying. I would ask him what was wrong. And he would respond, “Sometimes, I think about you dying and it just hurts so much. What will I do if you die?” Wow. How do you respond to that?

I did it factually. I laid out the plan. Showed him my will and his dad’s will. Our life insurance. Reassured him that he has grandparents and aunts and uncles who will love him just as much as me and Dad. He would seem okay with that for a while. For a while.

He hasn’t done that in a couple years. At least, not that I have seen or heard.

But back to my original point. See, Andrew doesn’t have a command voice. Not like me, or his dad, or even his older brother. I think of it now and realize it must be a bit overwhelming to live in a house with such loud, forceful personalities when he is the only quiet one. And he is quiet. Sometimes, I feel as though he is allowing himself to fade into the background. But I don’t think that is truly the case. Andrew is a thinker. He thinks about everything. Swirls it about in his head. Looks at all sides, inspects, digests, works it out. I’ve sorta come to believe that he is so quiet because he is too busy thinking to remember to speak.

And that brings me back around to his birthday.

I have a problem with birthdays. And Christmas. And holidays in general. I hate them. And I am unmercifully selfish in that regard. Meaning, I completely forget that not everyone hates them. Including my kids. And my husband. Which means, I am the only one in the whole house who hates them. Yet, I take it upon myself to completely fucking ignore them, and ignore the fact that everyone wishes I would not ignore them. Holy fucking meatwad! I am a selfish, self-centered, callous, heartless whore in a bitch’s clothing! That is really the first time I have organized those words into a complete thought, and reading it now kind of makes me feel like shit. Damn it.

Of course, he got a birthday present, his iPod Touch. But apparently, Andrew really wanted a birthday cake.

He woke up this morning, the day after his birthday, almost in tears. No. He was in tears. My 15-year-old son was in tears because he didn’t get a birthday cake. He says he asked for one. As a matter of fact, he says that he even offered to buy it himself if someone would just take him to the store.

FUCKING SHIT, this makes me want to cry just writing it!

Neither his dad nor I remember hearing him say this. And I told him as much. Had Chris or I heard him say ANYTHING like that, either one of us would have been the first one in the car.

Needless to say, we got him a birthday cake today. Two of them, actually. Did I completely indulge my child out of a heartbreaking sense of guilt?

Fuck yes, I did.

Are there parents in the world who would have used this as a lesson on having thicker skin and building a bit of toughness?

Fuck yes, there are.

Instead, I used it as an opportunity to have a conversation with my brilliant child about having a command voice. About sticking up for himself. About realizing that he is important enough to have wants and needs. And he is important enough to verbalize them. He counts. He is here. He exists. And he matters.

A command voice. It isn’t about begging or being selfish or demanding things you don’t deserve. And it’s certainly not a guarantee that you will always get what you’re asking for. It’s about self-confidence. It’s about knowing yourself. It’s about actively going after the things you want, instead of passively floating through life hoping the things you want will find you.

And truly, I am a punk ass bitch.

I’m working on it.

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1 comment:

  1. you are the total opposite of punk ass bitch.. you are the coolest parent I know because all parents fuck up every now and then.. that's part of the humanoid that runs inside of us. it fucks with us and thus we fuck up but instead of letting the fuck up pass by you taught your son a valuable lesson. You didn't just bribe him (ok maybe a little but a well deserved bribe for an awesome ass kid) you told him that he was worth standing up for. You told him that he had value and meaning. You told him that it is ok to demand and be selfish a little. You didn't let the moment pass. You didn't miss it. You caught it and ran with it.

    Punk ass bitches just send give their kid a pack of cigarettes and say here blow out the candles.

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