I have a teenager. He’s wise and wonderful. I wanted so desperately for him to feel excited and secure about becoming a teenager because this child is a deep thinker. Husband is away therefore carrying the weight as a single parent wasn’t easy. So we did what any normal 13 year old would want to do, we all went indoor skydiving!
At Universal City Walk there is an indoor (but outdoor so passer-bys can watch) air tunnel that simulates air pressure at thousands of feet high. Suited and booted with jumpsuit, goggles, earplugs and helmets, our family went up, up and away. One by one with instructor in the air vent with you, we took our turns flying, spinning and balancing against a great wind force. Ridiculously exciting. Even the five year old flew, and on the second go wanted the instructor to leave the room! I highly recommend the experience. It was a great letting-go for all of us; teenage angst through to adult stress.
My teenager (trying to get used to writing that one) decided he didn’t want a party with school friends he still didn’t really know, so instead we filled the table with his cousins and great family friends. And I tell you something, 16 kids later, we were a party. In London I would have fully relied on close friends to make sure my son felt special, make up the energy of the missing family. But here, it’s just so easy to feel the love. There they were, 1o of his 14 cousins, and a few special friends that are almost counsin-like, and the worries of not giving him a class party were washed away with the rain. Yes, it is currently raining here!!
I’ve also felt the pain of the loss of my father this week. Probably because my son is 13 and in Judaism that marks the beginning of adulthood, but mostly because of how much my dad would have enjoyed being at the table. I can almost see his huge smile across the way. Almost.
I’m also here, in my home town and therefore focusing on me more; my upbringing, my traditions, my side of the family. I am able to create the Hamm family world so effortlessly in London as it was a new creation, but here I am definitely tied more to a greater sense of belonging and to those rules again, the ones that governed my upbringing and still exist in my original family.
Many tears have flowed this week. The feelings of anger towards the injustice of why certain people have to die when they do, why luck seems to follow the bad guy rather than the good one, why one child struggles so hard to read when another without learning difficulties doesn’t want to learn. Perspective is everything.
When my little one asked me a few days ago where Lord was, I thought he was referring to Lord of the Rings. “NO,” he announced, “not Lord of the Rings, Lord!! You know, that fat guy with the beard that sits on the tower!!” “You mean, God?” “Yeah, he replied, “God, that’s his name. Where is he????”
He really wanted to know. Why, I have no idea, but it was essential I answered the question. “He’s everywhere. He’s here (I touched his heart), and he’s here, (I touched my heart) and he’s with daddy in London. He’s everywhere.” “He’s inside me??” he giggled. Hey Lord, Lordie Lord, lalalala….” and the singing continued for one happy boy. I wish sometimes life were that simple; that answers were that fulfilling, and that singing made everything okay.