This is a
move for him.
My darling son Joshua
is moving from Napa California to Portland Oregon. He's taking
everything with him. He's rented a U-Haul truck in
which he's packing all his
belongings. The truck tows a trailer he's also rented, on which
he's transporting his car.
"Joshua in truck with car on trailer"
A certain bitter-sweetness hangs in the air (ie my
air) as I help him pack, carrying endless boxes from his house into
the truck's ample storage cabin. The mere fact that he's set this
all up by himself and is executing his plan as if he's done it
hundreds of times before,
I got more than a few things right raising him. His
crackles with an
flare as he works.
That's the sweet of the bitter-sweet. And the fact that his
independent ability to run his own life well, now leads him to
leave, is the bitter of the bitter-sweet. This I suppose is the
every parent confronts at some time or other in their relationship
with their children: if you get your job done well while they're
with you, they (the people you love most in
will leave. Ouch!
On a whim while stacking boxes, a bicycle, and tool sets inter-alia
with Tetris-like precision, I ask him "Hey, why don't I
to Portland with you? I'll follow you. We'll park my car in
long-term parking at Sacramento airport, then
to Portland, then I'll fly back to Sacramento?". There's a pause.
It's clear he wasn't expecting this (neither was I, for that
matter). Then he says, "That would be great Dad. We
can have a father-and-son road trip together, and talk
I'll take a shot at recreating what comes forth in the conversation
Even if I skip all the minutiae and detail, the fact that it
happened at all is valuable if not stunning. I'm clear that if
people could be fully
to everything he and I experienced, it would bring forth entirely
of possibility for family specifically, and for relationships in
general, for everyone. As he
with a steady hand, he asks about things which happened in the past
(our past), interactions which were cast into to the
background, the kinds of incidents people are reluctant to talk
about - yet undiscussed, they fester. He brings withholds and
perpetrations out into the open and holds them up to the light. He
does it in a way that not only clears up what wasn't clear. He does
it in a way that allows new, total transparency between us.