What Is Your Biggest Fear For Him?

I hadn’t considered this question in some time, but a few weeks ago, before parent-teacher conferences at our school, a colleague I don’t often enough get the opportunity to speak with often asked me this question.

I am certain that I fell into my now-common middle distance, eyes up and then to the right gaze, and sighed in contemplation.  I guess that has become my “I’m thinking” preparatory set as I deliberate the big stuff.  I considered options for the few moments the normal flow of conversation allows.  I began to give voice to something, stopped, and began anew.

“I guess I am most worried he won’t find a mate.”

My colleague, one of the quickest wits of our time and a genuine all-around decent guy, replied, “Yeah, but doesn’t everyone worry about that for their child?”

“Yes, I suppose you’re right, that’s true,” was my not-at-all snappy comeback, looking up and to the right again, “but he’s going to take so much more time.  He’s going to have to find someone extra-special, someone so patient, someone who will help him, who will wait for him.”

I can’t quote the rest of our talk, but I remember telling him I worried for the day my son wakes up and isn’t able to walk.  Something he does now will become something he never does again, and while that is true of each of our children, each of us for that matter, I know my son’s trajectory is a little more direct and brief.  I’ve recorded what I believed was his first last, the rock climbing wall, and though it was the first last, it is certainly not the worst last.  The thought of my child circling a day on the calendar, marking the first day he can no longer walk, is simply too much.  So I don’t think about it.  Much.  As much.

Last week the world learned that Stephen Hawking had passed away, decades after his disease suggested he should be crossing the finish line.  Decades!  I felt like this quote from his brilliant mind was a beautiful fit for what had been racing laps around my grey matter.  He hit all the right notes in this bit of advice to his own children, and I’m going to remember it for mine too.

for her outstanding and excellent performance atDenver Annual Fashion Competition. Given this12th of April, 2019 at Roanoke, Virginia. (1).png

 

6 thoughts on “What Is Your Biggest Fear For Him?

  1. Beautiful … my heart broke a little bit when I read this … because there is so much there in that one small conversation. There must be a challenging line in the brain … the “what to worry about” line. “Is it now? Is it time to worry about this? Or do I put it aside for another worry-day?” You always make my brain think about so many things, when it would rather just nap.

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  2. As someone who only has a few months left to walk, I can say it’s not so bad. Physically, it sucks, don’t get me wrong. Mentally, I’ve never been stronger. Your son will be ok!

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  3. Finding true, lasting love is just about one of the rarest occurrences in life, despite what the movies tell us. To experience it even once in a lifetime is to have won the cosmic lottery. I guess the secret — if there is one — is to have a sufficiently big and open heart to A) attract someone worthy of it and B) to recognize that special person when they come along, and to possess sufficient wisdom to cherish that person every day. You know? It takes heart to find love, and brains to keep it. If your son has a pure enough, big enough heart, Wendy — and I suspect he does — he’s got better odds than most of us of finding true love.

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