bruce - santa cruz, California
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: change

I believe that our son was born to show me how to de-adult myself to reveal and unravel all the beliefs I learned that are not mine, beliefs designed to construct an adult — serious, appearing to be confident, hurried, busy, someone else’s definition of success, a world with little room for play, innocence, spontaneity – yet filled with rights and wrongs, should’s, rules, regulations and a belief that these adult people should be in charge of children, demanding and authoritative.

Our son, from birth on, would have no part of this serious diversion from life. He would have no part of it, ever. And I have met many children who would have no part of it. They often become the so-called trouble makers, drop outs and ADD/ADHD diagnosed.

To stay personal however, from birth on, our son insisted on forcing me to change my perception, to play, to laugh, to un-serious myself. I was in training and fortunately, for him and for me, I knew that, and welcomed it. He first reached into the hidden softness of my heart, through my veils of hardness and learned beliefs not my own, when he told me, at the age of five, “I don’t need you to be with me. I need you to be with yourself. When you are with yourself, you are with me.”

I believed him and I was startled awake when I heard his words. Yet he said them, and continued the business of riding his bike. I believed early on, before he was five, that he, like most children, carried information bigger than my everyday world perception. I believe my adult-ness is gradually diminishing. I know this because I am seeing and finding fewer deficiencies in him, or others. My thoughts and thinking have become more spacious. Today, I notice his gifts, his smile, his spontaneity, while consistently noticing what is right about him and has always been right about him.

One day, he said “Where am I? Why am I here? Who are all these people?” Startled, I asked, “What did you say?” “I don’t know. What did I say.” That was the last time I asked him about messages I didn’t understand. I believed that information was coming through him, that in my everyday adult world, I have lost contact with.

More importantly, I have applied what he has shown me, to the point where there is little adultness left in me. Instead, I find it more difficult to worry, be afraid or have need to control anyone or anything, or even have to be right. Recently, while he was in the shower and I was sitting on a chair nearby, as we spoke of things, we found ourselves in some verbal conflict with my voice becoming more charged and harsh. Suddenly, he turned the water off, pulled the curtain back and started crying. I sat on the edge of the tub as he placed his head next to mine, tears rolling down his cheeks. Softly, he said, “I thought I helped you get rid of all your anger, I thought I helped you get rid of all your anger.” I held him closer and whispered, “I’m learning, and thank you.”

While writing this essay, our son, now 13, walked by me and said, into open space, “You know, we aren’t really saying these words that come out of our mouths. They are coming from somewhere else, somebody or something else way out there. Bigger than God. It isn’t us speaking.” “I know,” I replied instinctively. “I know you do.”

How freeing. How freeing.