Saturday, July 4, 2009

That Tilt-A-Whirl Down on the South Beach Drag

As too often happens with something that you have looked forward to - and something you have enjoyed - Rob's time in this part of the country has drawn to a close far too fast. By the time the sun sets tomorrow night, Rob will no longer be in this time zone. He will back in his western home away from home. He shall be back in Wyoming. He will have been here for eight days by the time the wheels of his departing flight have left the runway of Newark Airport underneath them forever.

He has been here all week. I wonder though if he truly feels as if he has been home. It seems to me - applying my full array of parental observational tools - as if he feels a bit betwixt and between. There appears to be a bit of a disturbance in the force around him - as if where he lives presently is not "home" but now that he is not living here any longer, neither is this. Elvis Costello once observed that home isn't where it used to be, home is anywhere you hang your head. From my vantage point - observing my 23 y/o son over the course of the past several days - that observation appears to be about half-right.

From the time they were children, which neither Suz nor Rob is any longer, I stressed to both of them that life is a journey and not a destination. There are parts of the trip that are more enjoyable than others. Conversely there are parts of the trip that one receives less pleasure from than others. Methinks that at present Rob is fighting his way through one such patch.

Today is Independence Day. Independence comes in many forms, in many shapes and sizes. It bears paying careful attention to Jefferson's choice of language in the Declaration of Independence - We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It is the pursuit of happiness that is every man's right, happiness itself is not guaranteed.

In a perfect world, I would be able to reach into the bathroom medicine cabinet and pull down a bottle of magic elixir to give to my son, much the same way that I used to give him cough and cold medicine when he was a boy. If only it were that simple. But as one's children age, not only do they get taller, their lives get considerably more complicated. One hopes that the life lessons imparted to them as children serve them well as adults.

Independence - like freedom - is not free. And its cost may take many forms. Right here, right now, it seems to me as if my son is paying a bit of the cost associated with traveling from where you have been to where you are going. Hit my home town a couple years back/Hard to say just how it felt/But it looked like so many towns I might've been through/On my way to somewhere else.

He has been reminded this week that he is not alone on this journey. He has been reminded that we are all here for him - wherever "here" may be. Regardless of where it is or where we are, the aurora's rising behind us, the pier lights our carnival life forever.

And wherever he is, wherever he goes, we shall love him tonight and we shall indeed love him forever. Happy Independence Day Rob. Independence suits you. Let it come to you and you will be just fine.


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