Monday, February 8, 2010

some kids take a whole lifetime to raise aka. i'm still learning how to be a mom....

this has been rattling around in my head for awhile especially in relation to my son, Nolan. Nolan is newly 22 and one of the most unique young men you will ever meet. He wears his hair in a very unkempt Jimi-Hendrix-meets-Jimmy-Neutron way. He's white, he's black; he's cool, he's nerdy.

He's my son and, yet, he's a stranger.

Nolan was a gift given out of very unnatural and unnerving circumstances. Despite the situation, I kept Nolan. I said Yes to him and knew with all of my heart that I would love him always. He was born at home on a snowbound Illinois night; only a neighbor was able to reach our home before his first lusty squall. He was calm, alert and absolutely gorgeous. That was then: back when I thought that love alone was enough.

Raising a bi-racial child is something i entered into blindly and I don't know that i've done that great a job of it. I've been stupid, i've been naive and i've fallen short of the mark. Still, Nolan remains my son: he loves me, stays with me and assures me that i've done nothing wrong. He blames no-one for his faults, his tendencies, his insecurities or his interests.

I wish I would have know then what I know now - that it takes more than two loving parents to help a child become a man: it also takes guts and risks and knowledge. It takes perspective and patience and strength. I see now that I didn't risk enough in the way of helping Nolan get to know what it's like for other black or bi-racial children. I really thought that if I accepted him enough, he wouldn't need to know anything else.

All children are a mystery to be solved, but none moreso for me than Nolan. Not only is he my first son but he has the IQ of a gifted person, mad skills in music and math, huge hair that I call the 8th wonder of the world, a snowboarder (who passionately despises Sean White), a gamer (Hello? World of Warcraft? can I have my son back?). He isn't into HipHop or Roca Wear - more like Urban Outfitters and Express.

He is comfortable in his own skin and ever since his birth I've had to ask my self if I am? Am I comfortable with who Nolan is? It's not an easy question or a simple answer. I love him, I pray for him and I want him to know that Love and Acceptance...but I don't know if he ever will because...because perhaps, I don't know how.

Nolan got in some trouble recently at school for having marijuana in his apartment. It shook him up a bit and as he explained what happened I went right back to that place where I just want him to know that I love him and want him to be his best. It reminded me of how much I just need to show him my acceptance of him but I feel like I need to go back 22 years and start over again. He's home now and I am happy that he's here. I know how to love him. He is my first son, the one I got to learn with and I will continue to do so...forever perhaps.

Gabe, Curtis and Dav

Future Drummer?

Future Drummer?