Monday, February 23, 2004

Papa in Training

This is a story of forgiveness... forgiving myself and others who didn't dare to believe the best in me. It's the story of me becoming a parent... "sometimes parents just don't understand" seems (still) to be the theme of the rebellious rapper (as IF the "fresh prince" (will smith) could be rebellious!)... but I don't want to be one of THOSE kinds of parents. I want to understand.

I want to understand them and love them and know them.... when they're 2 and stuck in-between talkless and the explosion of thought... when they're 5 and beginning to express their appreciation for the intrinsic beauty of the souls around them... when they're 8, 13 (exploding again!), 19 (now a man... now a woman), 28, 42 and 90. After that, I will surely let them go to God alone... right? WRONG!

I'm forever the partner with God on this one.

One thing that has been really difficult to reconcile regarding this parenting thing... is the deaths of my Mom and Dad. You ought to go listen to Sarah Mclachlan do her new song, Fallen: "heaven bent to take my hand..." about the death of her mother and the birth of her baby daughter...

Man! Can I identify with that! Had my boy Simeon around the death (graduation) of my Mom... and my boy Elijah around my Dad's following my Mom into heaven... all in the last 2.5 years... crazy as hell, I'll tell ya.

But I learned that the death of the flesh (and the attendant hope of resurrection) is ALL part of LIFE! Life is not only the physical being! Life is the spirit in a person... who transcends time and place... to become all that they were meant to be.

Sometimes a Savant of a person achieves a measure of that transcendent expression here on earth... in this present, dusty, mortal shell.

And sometimes their dreams are preserved only for heaven and the hereafter (which may occur back here on terra firma!)... and they'll never get to fully express that burning desire and inner dream... until they are in the presence of the One who knows it well.

But my Fatherhood isn't waiting! It can't! I must love them selflessly, wholly, abandoned with the deepest fires of passion and wonder.... now... before I disappear from their learning gaze.

And that's my prayer: that I would find my place in time - here - (in the face of "al panai!") my children.

My wonder-seeking, glory-spilling, screaming, laughing, exploring, beautifying little ones.

And, Michelle, you are the half of me assumed throughout this discourse... that I would implode and disappear...

without.