Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dear Jalen In Parallel Universe

March 2009

Dear Jalen,

A few days ago a friend of mine found out she was pregnant. The past few days I've been going through those motions with her, the finding out, the freaking out, the being happy, the being overwhelmed, the being thrilled... She has another child and we've been reveling on how the amazement doesn't fade, it simply returns. It's almost like having known what it all is, knowing for a fact that it is real makes it more, not less amazing.

You are having a lot of trouble at school. It could be so many things. It could be that life's troubles have caught up with you the way they have caught up with me. We're going through a extremely stressful time with your dad but it seems we always do, more or less.

It makes teary to see you struggle--my struggling I take in stride although these past six to eight months I admit, I'm fading fast. I have been struggling harder and, because I am worried about too many things, I can't really sleep. It's incredible how debilitating that can be over time...

I wish I controlled things more and I wish I were perfect and by just my being so, your world was perfect too. I know that you know how much I love you, and I know that you know how much I try. But in life sometimes trying doesn't cut it and things get out of hand. You've been so resilient you know, and right now, you still are--just school's a mess for you and I am really sorry. The only guarantee I have is not a when but a how: some kind of way. I'm going to fix it some kind of way. Promise.

The thing about kids is none of us grown ups really deserve you. The blessing that you guys are, the sheer human perfection of your being is so disproportionate to the petty world we grown ups make--it's amazing yall even show up for us. But you do, and your hearts shine that big light and you let out those big laughs like rainshower on our collective blues. Thank god for you kids, man.

My friend being pregnant reminded me of how you and I started our little story, going now on almost 9 years. You were kind of a fantastic occurence: fully surreal and real at the same time. You were the thing I had no idea how to do and the thing I never spent a day wondering how to do. You just were. And we just were. So it was in the beginning, so it is today.

This letter is just me inventing a parallel universe where I can forego my maternal responsibilities and speak to you frankly in a way that I cannot in real life, because in real life, you're too young for the drama. Maybe there is a place in the universe where the energy if not the specific content of this message reaches your soul and lets you know, hey, this too shall pass. I want you to really really know it will get better, and get strong from this knowing. Like a science-fiction dream vision thing that you wake up from feeling like a superhero. Like Peter Parker waking up from that first spider bite.

Love you,