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.