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Sunday, January 30, 2011

You Don't Need to Understand

“But what about your son,” asks nearly everyone.

That is a loaded question, and not an easy one to hear. Its guilt inducing and does not help ease the pang I already feel for my decision.

But it wasn’t entirely my decision. This was a question that I put forth to my friends, family and most importantly my son. Of everyone, it was my son who told me to do what I wanted. It was not easy for him to say this, but I knew he wanted me to be happy, just as I did, and do, him.

I remember when as a “tween” he went through what we affectionately refer to as the “orange” phase. What ever he could wear that was orange he would. So many times I had to bite my tongue as he proudly came to me with his carefully selected attire. For in his effort was his independence. He knew that he was dressed differently from the other kids, but he dressed only to please himself – no one else. The orange phase was followed by many others, and while he exercised his creativity I watched how free he was in spirit. He always looked great, but what was most important is that he constantly took a chance and tried new things. Sometimes it didn’t work but sometimes it did. Through it all he was happy, and soon learned to not be afraid to make a decision, even an unpopular one with his peers – and at times, me.

Like my son, I too went through my phases. There was the tofu, garlic and juicing one. I remember the year I bought the most ridiculous sun gear known to mankind. To make life even more interesting, I published a regular column that transcribed the humour and drama of our everyday life. It was read by his teachers, some of his friends and parents. Not once did he ask me not to write something.

I won’t lie, there were moments that it took everything for me not to ask my son to change, and I know he took a few taunts over my columns, but at the end of the day he was as proud of me as I was him. We both knew that we were doing what we needed to do.

We’ve both learned that there is more to life when you colour outside of the lines. And we also know that geography doesn’t make a bond stronger; it simply makes it more convenient.

I guess where I am going with this is that no one else needs to understand my reasoning – just as long as we do.

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