Moving across the country is not as accepted as I thought. My 15-year-old son informed me that he is “not on board” whatsoever with moving from North Carolina to California. In fact, after he told me exactly that he dramatically stomped out of my room.
“Let’s discuss,” I’d said while adjusting my black wig. (Wait, that is a home dye job. I keep forgetting.)
Later while driving home from his Krav Maga class I decided to impart some wisdom.( As an aside I must say that is one of my very favorite aspects of parenting: the dispensing of my serene Buddist-like knowledge into impressionable young minds. I’ve found the dispensing works best when the young minds sit trapped in the car with me and their ear buds have been taken away.)
Calmly I drove and listened to my sweet, thoughtful son as he told me he would indeed “try” this whole moving thing. Sort of like a new sport I guess.
“I’ll try it for a while,” he said.
“OK,” I cautiously countered.
“But, ” he said, “I don’t really like ultimatums.”
“OK,” I said in my best Buddha voice. “But this isn’t really an ultimatum. I just acknowledged that you have a choice.”
“Saying I have to move is an ultimatum,” he said.
“If you hate it,” I said, “If you are miserable, I will move back here with you. But you have to give it some time.”
“OK,” he said. “I will try it for a while.”
He is so happy now with his friends. For the most part he likes his classes at school; EJD has a pretty good life now. But a change is a gonna come. Inevitable. And no, I never really liked Bob Dylan but I appreciate that he was a catalyst for (a reflection of?) change. And I would move back with my boy, no lie.
Wait a minute. Was that a stomach ache or did I feel more wisdom coming on?
“Your dad and I were talking,” I said, “and he mentioned something I think applies. He said there is no such thing as try, there is only do.”
“Yoda!” screamed EJD. “Dad was quoting Star Wars!” Our son almost chortled with joy as he explained the movie scene where Yoda patiently explains this living lesson to hero-in-the-making Luke Skywalker.
Then I remembered the Dude’s vocal intonations. Indeed, there had been a hint of self-mockery present but I’d glided over it in my eagerness to agree that yes, trying without the requisite follow through was an admission of defeat. We’d actually been talking about my new idea for a career but wisdom is wisdom and it applies to all.
I laughed with our boy but was a tad embarrassed for letting the Dude pull one over on me. Now I remembered his pause after he said it, maybe waiting to see if I got the joke. Since I haven’t seen Star Wars and its latent predecessors 5,000 gazillion times the reference escaped me.
Dude is a funny guy. Our marriage has been in the sky and on the skids many a time over the last 20 years but one thing that has stayed constant is his ability to get a laugh.
He is waiting to be with his boy, can’t wait. Lots of plans. EJD can’t see that far ahead because he’s young. All that matters is right here, right now and in a way he’s right, that is all that matters.
But you can’t stop the tide. Going to come, change it is.