Tomorrow, my son leaves to go to college in the big city. He wrote a song over a year ago and said that all he could see was the vision of what was to come, the lights of the city that would change him and bring him to his destiny. This child of mine has a sureness in him, a balance: he knows what matters to him and I have always trusted him to find his path. It is just something in him. Did I teach him to believe in his dreams? Yes, but his dreams and his drive are his own.
But that is not the story I want to tell. As he flies away from me into a rising sun, I want to share with you the beautiful soul that is my son.
This night occurred maybe a year into my crack addiction, about 7 years ago. I was still living with my son then, still married to his father: Dan was sleeping in another room by then, and asked me to leave soon after. I do not blame him. I stayed out for another year, and put the pipe down for good.
I had left the prior evening to go to an AA meeting. That's what I said, anyway. I rolled back in around 5:30AM, blind high, shaky, coming down hard. My son was asleep in my bed. I tried to be quiet, but he woke up. He came over and embraced me, and said, I'm so glad you're safe. I stank with the drug and the filth of it: crack is a dirty habit in so many ways. But he hugged me close.
I sat him down next to me on the bed and said, look, honey, I know that you must get really angry sometimes, and really scared. You don't have to be so perfect for me. You can tell me about it. You can get mad. And he said, no, Mom, YOU don't understand. You have a disease, and there's a 99.9% chance that it will kill you: but maybe you just need somebody to believe in you.
Maybe you just need somebody to believe in you.
He was 11. Ladies and gentlemen, my son.