Saturday, December 13, 2008


It's strange. Today, the first time I worked in nearly a full turn of a week, I was witness to something painfully peculiar. It struck me as odd, yet it reminded me of something I bore witness to only a few weeks ago. It made me recollect the strange resemblance you see in children and their parents, whether it is on purpose or not, I'm not sure. Most biology says it is purely genetic, and each man's son will follow in his father's footsteps. It is a painful and perpetual process in some cases, yet for some it is something that propels them to heights they'd never achieved were in not for their given genetics. Today I saw what made me think on these things again, so, for the anonymous public who may be viewing, I share the moment with you.

I was working, as I began early, in the grocery store which I find solace in some of the harder days of my life, and I saw a child, sitting in a cart, staring intently at their mother. They were a young child, perhaps only a couple years of age, yet it seemed they had a profound understanding of their mother's inner turmoil. The mother wore a painful expression on her face, one of pure exhaustion, as though she had seen so much and said only enough in her short day of Christmas shopping with her child. Her expression was completely sincere, there was lethargy showing in her eyes and her jaw rested agape, as she seemed to be breathing heavily simply from the burden of the day she had just been part of. A natural expression yes, one not uncommon in a place like a grocery store, yet it seemed peculiar to me, because a) I over analyze everything, and b) because the small child in the cart she pushed wore the identical expression.

His eyes nearly pushed out of his face in an exaggerated exhaustion, mouth hung open in lethargy, and head hung at almost the precise angle his mother's was. This was incredible to me. He seemed to have mimicked it, yet the emotion behind in, the feelings his mother wore, were prominent therein. His intent stare made it seem as though he were trying for this effect, I would not have guessed any differently had he not moved his head to the side and kept the exact same emotion. It would have been even odder to his mother were she not preoccupied with her own trepidation. Perhaps his genetics were causing him to feel this emotion through her.

The reason it struck me so, is because I did not believe the semblance existed between me and any other member of my family save the stubbornness my mother and I share. I did not believe so until, of course, two years ago. I was laying in a tent, whilst camping with my kin, trying very much so to find refuge from the shouting voices of adults. I could not find sleep, so like any self respecting child I began to eavesdrop. What I heard was somewhat of a domestic dispute between a husband and wife. My uncle and his girlfriend were the ones creating such a dispute. I believed them entirely alone until I heard my father, begin as a mediator between the two feuding sides.

After much heated conflict, my uncle left to find solace in his warm trailer and left my father and his enraged girlfriend sitting at the burning cinders of the past raging fire. This is when it became to become extremely surreal for me, the impromptu audience of the situation. I heard my father talking to her, in much the same tone and dialect, as I did to the distressed teenage girls who find some refuge in my advice. He was tenacious with his efforts to lift the spirits of this extremely distraught woman, and it seemed that he was fueled by the incense of the fire withering away, as though it's embers were a signal that the night was about to end, as was the night for this woman. She was going to go to bed alone and angry, and the conflict would find itself lingering into the following days.

What truly shocked me was his diction. The words he was using. They were nearly exactly the same as my own. That which he spoke bore such a resemblance to my own advice that I was taken aback, and nearly disturbed. My father and I could not be much different than we are, physically no, yet emotionally I thought we had much distance. However, here he was, he had become the catalyst of emotional recovery much the way I had in the previous years. He continued to speak, cooing the inflamed woman into a lull of assurance. He continued to talk until she conceded to attempting to talk to my uncle before reposing, that is, if he hadn't found the dark of sleep already.

Though it was alcohol borne and much resembled a boched episode of doctor Phil, the latter showing me how ridiculous I sounded in such moments, it gave me some hope for my relationship with Pops. I didn't know how to deal with this new information. Normally I would sit upon it and think more, which I did, but I accepted it nearly instantaneously. It is hope I found there, that being like your father is always possible.

I do not say this is absolute truth. That each man's son will repeat his father's actions, however it is something that saved me slightly. I hope all of you can find it, the pro relationships with your parents. It's something that provided some gusto in spending time with my family, this quality being something good in my mind. That child meticulously crafting his mother's facade calmed me, and made me glad, hopefully, and sincerely hopefully, he will continue on such a path and find a meaningful bond with her.


No comments: