But Marcus is.
I’ve been in worry-mode about my son for the entirety of his sophomore year. His previous struggles with math continued, and even escalated. So naturally, like any parent, I‘m concerned about the effects of said struggle in the immediate and in the future. In my mind, I’ve already begun formulating a plan B in the event that plan A falls through in reference to sending him off into manhood. It’s been consuming me.
It’s in moments like this where I can’t help but make comparisons. See, as much as Charles has been the source of much turmoil in my youth, he remains my litmus test, my example, the bar that was set for me to measure myself against. There are plenty of “what would Charles do” moments that I secretly have. And sadly, more often than not, whatever he did or would do, I do the opposite.
I wish I could say that there was alot that I’ve seen him do as a parent that I apply to my parenting now. But there’s not. See, he thought just being in the house was enough. What he failed at was establishing a father/son relationship, which is what sustains you during the struggles, and what you celebrate during the victories. So I go left. And my son and I are better for it. I know that he loves, respects and adores me. Even when I get on his motherfucking nerves with my griping and chastising. And he knows that he is my life charm, the glory of my life, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Even when I want to put his motherfucking ass through a wall. Again. (Long story, no need to recap). There is a trust between us that is everything to me. The very thing Charles and I clearly will never have, and I’ve made peace with that. Because I have this guy.
One day, during conversation, the subject of his grandparents (my parents specifically) was brought up, which he quickly and abruptly corrected, by stating “those aren’t my grandparents”. When asked about why he took that position, he explained “I don‘t claim them. Knowing how they’ve treated him (pointing at me) I want nothing to do with them.” It hurt my heart to hear him delete an entire branch of his family tree, his legacy. But at the same time I don’t regret for one moment that I’ve been honest and open about my complicated and albeit nonexistent relationship with my parents. I’ve learned that the personality he’s developed includes the ability to identify and separate himself from toxicity. I envy the confidence he has in himself when it comes to demanding that his environment is populated by those who are genuine.
So ironically, I have Charles to thank. By being himself, doing what he thought was best, and emulating what he’d seen and experienced, he taught me a lesson that was hard for me to learn, but beneficial in the long run: He showed me what NOT to do. And to the best of my ability, I ain’t done none of that shit.
Alright, enough of that. Go listen to THE REMEDY.