March 22, 2017
This day last year I stood on your doorstep, and told you that Miller had died. Four days ago we stood with so many others and celebrated Matty’s life. They were both your age. Kids you knew, kids we both had significant connections to. And they both died the tragedy which your very existence provided me a most narrow escape from, so many years ago. I owe you Thomas. It has been a bizarre little year, and hard to believe how much changed, in only 365 days. How much you have changed, in only 365 days. How much ‘we’ have changed.
We shared a roof again for the first time since you flew the mama-coop almost 7 years ago, and you got to experience my home world in a much different capacity, as an adult. During that precious, though most difficult cohabitation (we know why, but this isn’t about my ill-fated romantic escapades), I was gifted with many insights into who you have become, a view that I could not have glimpsed in the course of a less closely-quartered relationship, consisting only of weekly drive-by-huggings. I treasure that unexpected and challenging time we shared.
The kind, sweet, compassionate parts I have always known were readily visible, as always, to my ever-biased eye, and came as no surprise. They have been an integral part of you since the moment you took your first breath, and broke my heart so beautifully, on this day 26 years ago. At 1:29 p.m., Central European Time, to be precise.
Sharing space again was not the challenge, rather the battle we each waged with our respective demons-of-the-moment, which then manifested in our adult-child/childish(?)parent duo. A most welcome revelation during that brief roomie-relationship last spring and summer, was witnessing you put into practice, under highly inauspicious circumstances, some of my oft repeated, and most relentless teachings:
- Stand up for yourself and above all, for others when they cannot!
- Question everything, use critical thinking skills to analyze everything and everyone in the world!
- Be willing to re-think and revise your own beliefs, always!
- Question and challenge me, and mine!!!
That last one was/is hard for you, and I am tempted to apologize but I won’t. You did, you do good with it! I don’t make it easy. I know.
To my utter chagrin, I also watched you demonstrate some of my ‘best parenting,’ in a number of your habits, confounding, even provocative and head-strong ways of being! I can but express my remorse and regret for those bits, and forge ahead to lead by a different example than the one I obviously provided you at some point in time. Neither mama-flagellation nor Sunny-bashing is the purpose of including this piece, it is important though, to me, that I live with a more balanced view of my heroes. For not even you, my most beloved, all-time favourite human on this planet, in the galaxy, the universe, are perfect. And for me to live with that skewed perspective is a set-up for you, and for me. Because it damn well hurts when our heroes fall off the lofty pedestals, upon which we situate them. That in mind, I will only raise you to an altitude we can both withstand a fall from. Because we will, fall. Splat.
Watching you this last year, the softness you had for your babi during her painful struggle, and for me, having you close, through some of the hardest times you/we have experienced to date, and holy moly Bat-boy that says something (because have you met our life?), has yet again, been my ultimate saving grace. Once more, I owe you Thomas.
Twenty-six will be fabulous BabyCakes, and I look forward to more! More surprises, more challenges, more of everything we have always known together, more crazy, and more learning, about ourselves, each other, and how to evolve and function even better, individually and as ‘the set,’ we have always been. I can only beseech my atheist Ungods that we will always be, that set. ‘Always’ being so fully and inadequately impermanent and all, but you get my point!?
No words, no language (not even profanity), suffice to describe the gift of your presence in my world, for 26 years and counting. Who says I can’t do long-term relationships?! Our relationship has evolved, and not without serious growing pains, to something it has never been before, something I am loathe to label in any way, other than to say it is more grown up. On both ends. Which means you’re right on schedule, and me, well, sorry, bit of a late bloomer in some areas of life…
High five SunnyBoyManChildBabyCakesSnookemBooBabyCzechThommyCzechBatBoy (did I get them all?), we did well! No, we did fucking awesome! Yeah, that’s better, we did Fucking Awesome!
Happiest of happy birthdays to you child!
With the Maddest of Madd Love,
here we are again, March 22nd; the 24th March 22nd that I have the privilege of sharing with you; it is the absolute honour of all honours to be your parent. My Sunny-Boy-ManChild-BabyCakes, and all the other crazy names I have attached to your beautiful spirit over the years, you know, the ones you initially balk at, but always throw the good-son towel in on, because you know, mama gonna be mama and call you things other than the names so carefully and lovingly chosen for you before we ever met face to face.
I will spare us the regurgitation of all the reasons I love you so fiercely, we can revisit them here in our old(er) age, in the event that we forget, but they are indelibly etched into the very core of my being either way, so when the world blows up (ala Alex Jones ;) ) and we have lost all e-records and interwebs postings proclaiming my mama love for you, we will know anyway.
This March 22nd begs a different message from me to you. It begs a message of thanks and deeply profound gratitude, and with any luck, some-mama wisdom that one day, you will see fit to use, the way that I was able to use the uncondionality you once again showed me, through some of the toughest shit in a while, over this past year.
Thank you for standing your ground with mama in what in the grand scheme of things was a relatively benign little online exchange, around some political ideas on anti v. pro-activism. The discussion we had off-line about the process of it, for both of us, is what real love, trust, and this thing called relationship, are made of.
Thank you for standing your ground and letting me know in no uncertain terms that you wanted the Europe trip to happen no matter what, but that you would not be happy doing it without the mama. It was our trip for as long as we can both remember, for so many more reasons than I can articulate here, and it matters not, for we both know.
Thank you for forcing mama’s hand, in the kindest, gentlest, but completely Thomas-honest way, and helping me remember what is actually important in the world, reminding me what the last five years of struggle and re-building of Marcela, and by natural extension, how I do ‘parent of Thomas,’ has been all about.
Thank you for seeing beyond the surface of everything that had to do with everything about our going home(s), re-meeting your dad, your brothers, your nieces, your nephew, your cousins, your aunts and uncles, all of them, it.
Thank you for understanding my pain through it, thank you for not trying to fix what was never yours, thank you for holding my hand through all of it, in the midst of your own process through it. Thank you for having your mama’s back, unflinchingly as ever, no matter what.
Thank you for making it one of the most singularly spectacular events in my well-used life, other than the day of your actual birth, 24 years ago today.
Thank you for last summer after we got back. For the ear through the phone line during so many tearful drives to and from Nanaimo, up and down that LaMaHat, for the drive-by huggings at PV and the softness in your voice when you could read my broken heart all over me; the one threatening to obliterate everything I knew to be true about me, again.
Thank you for holding my well-lit heart together with the unconditional glue of who you are, and for seeing it, me, as the fallible human-parent I am, and your loyalty to our relationship not despite that, but because of it.
Thank you for expressing your disdain for men(?) behaving badly in both my personal and professional worlds, and thank you for behaving well despite your disdain and anger toward those less chivalrous, less kind.
Thank you for your response to that most unexpected of phone calls this afternoon from your dad, only one of us responded with the grace and wisdom of the Universe itself; clearly, age is no guarantee of these things, and thank you for understanding, once again, my misguided irritation by parts of said phone call. It was a beautiful thing, and that, is all you saw. I take another page from your book.
Thank you for all of the trust you continue to place in me with the really great, and really tough life shit, and thank you for showing me, over and over again, the many variations on any given theme. For an open-minded mama, my ever well-heeled feet can dig in, hard, at times.
Thank you for simple happiness at the recent changes in my life, completely and utterly bereft of chagrin at the speed in which things are changing. Thank you for understanding that risk is necessary.
Thank you for starting to put into action your next great adventure, and thank you, more than you will ever know, for saying you would come back for next April 25th. Thank you for allowing me to mama-guide you, ok, I ordered you, not to.
Thank you for using the lessons of my and your own well-used life, to propel you forward, ever forward, and for teaching me back, my own preach about teaching children How to think, not what to think.
The beautifully important and life(choice)-scarred words that mean so much to you they are permanently etched onto your forearm often bear true Sunny, ‘Storm is prerequisite for mental gain,’ but just as we are the creators of our own happiness, the same is true for the storms, if only by virtue of the reactions, responses, associations, patterns, meanings, we Choose to attach to any of it; the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, the sublime, and the ridiculous.
That there; be mama’s current learning curve BabyCakes, BabyCzech, and Number One Marsupial-Child! It is my most fervent desire for you, that you don’t require almost 54 years of life to get there, and if you do, I have all the faith in the world, that you will traverse the trails, highways, byways and ditches with the same wild abandon and spirit of risk, that you have watched your mama grow into, and continue to understand, that the Only failure, Ever, is not trying at all.
Our Dorothy used to say, ‘pain and suffering are inevitable in this world, continuing misery, is purely optional.’ Curmudgeonly beauty that she often was, she was right.
I love you with the same ferocity and wild that I often go at anything with, only infinitely deeper.
Tattoo on Sunny’s Arm by Sam, Killer Bees Tattoos – Melbourne, Australia
‘Storm is prerequisite to mental gain’ from ‘Liquid Sovereignty’ by Eydea & Abilities