My Place or Yours?

I have a secret place in my mind.  My place holds my child and me, coming together in a special shared moment.  In my place, I wrap my arms around communicate, to comfort, to celebrate.  My place is easy, natural, just a typical special moment between mother and son.

Tonight, he and I sit side by side.  We're waiting.  Watching, as one by one, each parent and child is quietly called to their turn. Rising together, they walk to the front of this room in unison. Standing in front of ceremonial objects, the parent quietly bestows their heartfelt blessings/wishes for their child. This marks the start of a yearlong concentrated study that will end in a beautiful, rite of passage ceremony. We're waiting. Warm hugs and “macho” back patting communicating to us that each is ready to return to the group, serene and connected. We're waiting. 

Next to me, my son begins shifting in his chair,touching everything around him, his rising anxiety driving mine. The air in the room is thick with warm emotions, as we sit surreally alone, suffering an impenetrable chill.  “This is not my place, this is yours. How will I bring you to mine?” I think, as I hear our names finally being called. Racing through my mind for an answer, I grasp to a place of pure belief- the same belief that holds childhood magic.  In this lightning fast moment,  I play it out in my head... it will happen naturally, as we rise together and walk in tandem.  “Our shared steps will be metaphorical,” I think, in a ridiculous attempt to rewrite our story.  Rising from my seat, while gathering my purse and composure, I look up to see him already down the aisle, single mindedly moving on. And I concede, “This is so not my place.”

     Catching up to him in the front of the room, I begin my heartfelt moment by simply saying his beautiful name.  He corrects me.  He says, "The way I pronounce (his) name confuses people and leads them to think there is an “S” on (his) name, but there isn’t.” 

He hates that...I begin again.

     I share what I hope will truly speak my vision of him, all he is, and will be, to the world.  Hopeful I have carried us both to “my place”, I step back and wait for his response to this obviously shared, moving moment. 

     Like ice water thrown, his voice breaks through the muted room, as he abruptly spins away from me to point behind himself.  “ Mom, did you notice how that one has eight bells on it but, that one only has six?"  "Mom, look way back in the corner... the other two,” he says with all the pride of a seasoned detective.  My stunned silence, misinterpreted by him, prompts a sharper, “Mom, two bells, over there, waaay in the corner, do you see?  Do you see, mom?  Can you see?”

  Do I see?  Can I see?

     You want me in your place.  I’m alone in my place.  We are together in yours.  I see.

“I see, honey.  What should we do?  Let’s walk back together and we’ll figure it out.”

          We did.

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