“Dad, I am not going to say that I want to do it, but I can see living here. This trip has been pretty good so far.”
I know better than to tell him the trip has been pretty good because he is a teen and has my blood which is to say he’ll push back hard if I suggest it is different than he has expressed.
Can’t complain about that or suggest it is wrong because it is probably no different than I might have said at his age.
So I’ll smile and keep rolling with whatever comes along go with the proverbial flow.
Maybe Karma Is A Chameleon
We’re walking through Trader Joe’s and picking up milk, eggs and some cereal.
Less than an hour ago we grabbed a late lunch at Ol’ South and talked about the last couple of days.
He tells me the Purim carnival was what he expected and says the Purim shpiel from the previous night was ok.
“Some of those people can’t sing, but there are plenty of people who can’t sing at home so…”
I nod my head and he tells me that it seemed like the people were nice but wonders if he is going to be the oldest kid around.
“I doubt it, there are probably more older kids than we saw.”
For a moment we are silent and then I realize he is looking at me and I shrug my shoulders.
He caught me half singing along to the store music, it is Karma Chameleon by Culture Club.
That song has to be more than 30 years-old which explains why the only other people who seemed to recognize it were a mother in the dairy section and some old guy in frozen foods.
It dawns upon me the old guy in frozen foods might say the same thing about me but I don’t spend time thinking about that because a memory floats up from down below.
“Maybe karma is a chameleon.”
Can’t remember if I came up with that or one of my junior high friends, but I do remember talking about it and saying we thought the song was pretty stupid.
That conversation always ended with someone asking “do you really want to hurt me?”
I took him to the Stockyards today.
It is four years since his last visit to Texas and this place made an impression upon him the last time.
We wander through the stores making sure to stop by the Beef Jerky place that hands out free samples and take time to try on cowboy hats.
“Dad, your head is too big for that one, take it off.”
I find one that looks pretty good on him and for a moment I think he might say he wants it.
The almost $200.00 price tag makes me happy he doesn’t which is good because I can’t spend that much on a hat…today.
Maybe one day I can and will, but that day hasn’t arrived.
Time Is An Accordion
That teen is at a funny age and time where he very much wants to be his own person but sometimes needs to be a kid.
We are constantly moving around each other in crazy circles trying to figure out what role we are playing or assuming.
I am always dad and he is always my but there is this funny push-pull that I mentioned before.
“I can’t believe I am only here for a few more days.”
“That is the mark of a good trip. I am going to miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too dad.”
That is a pretty significant statement for this particular time and I let it own the moment as it should.
Besides telling him that the house is going to feel very empty isn’t going to make him feel any better about leaving and it won’t make it hurt any less for me.
It is a temporary separation but I have gotten used to him being around.
Time passes and I tell him it is important to put effort into making Texas feel like a home.
“I am slowly developing some friendships and becoming part of a community. But there are moments where I feel like I am some of kind of Martian.”
He nods his head and I tell him I don’t expect it to be like this forever but am honest when I say there are moments where I look around and try to figure out how the hell this all happened.
That is the plan, the goal and the dream.
To move the life I see in my mind from between my ears into or onto this planet we call earth.
Dancing in the fire is useless and worthless without action. So let the flames burn themselves out while I do what it takes to move into a place where opportunity and possibility are more than dreams.
That is the short summation of how I got here.
It is the one that ignores the crawl through hell and the beating that came with it but that is ok because I don’t need to relive those moments.
I just need to remember to take a deep breath and to not let some of the unexpected make me scream.
It is one step at a time.
I’ll miss that kid when he leaves, but we have a few days before that happens which is good because crazy times are coming just after.