Sunday, December 18, 2011

Necessary Lies

It's nice to have a public diary. It's especially nice because even though said diary toils in obscurity now, someday it may be found, most likely by my descendants, and pored over for some clues as to my thinking, motivations and hopes.

My greatest hope is Xael. Xael is my son and he just turned three years old. He's at turns shy and extroverted; mellow and wild. He's the essence of dichotomy. Maybe all children that age are, but the only one I know now and the one I know best is my son.

The other day he did something he shouldn't have, as is not uncommon. I was talking with him via video chat because that's our primary method of communication. His mom and I separated a little over two years ago and in August of this year, she moved about six hours southwest to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I'm thankful for the web because it allows us to at least maintain some facsimile of a relationship where if we were living just a few decades gone we would've needed to rely on a phone and the postal service.

But he did something he shouldn't have. I told him I was disappointed in him. He burst into tears and screaming and walked away from the camera. I wanted to tell him something else, but he wouldn't come back. The technology that I loved so much for giving me access to him was also capable of silencing me. He sought comfort in his grandfather, which is to be expected, but didn't hurt any less.

A few days went by and it was time for us to speak again. Within the first two minutes of our conversation, he asked me if I was disappointed in him. My heart sank. For three days, my son's only thought of me was that I was disappointed in him. I told him that as long as he was listening and being good I wasn't disappointed in him and that I loved him very much. He seemed satisfied by this answer after thinking about it for a moment and then we went back to playing superheroes.

I lied to him then. The reality is that I was never really disappointed in him and that no matter what he did, I probably would never be disappointed in him. I'm sure that's not true and I'm sure in the future he'll do things that let me down, but right now no matter what he does, good or bad, obedient or disobedient, I marvel at him. I think he's the most amazing little boy in the history of humanity. I wish I could watch every second of his life and it kills me that I can't. There are no disappointments with Xael. There's only wonder.