It’s late at night now. I’ve gone to bed once but got up as the words to this post were calling.
I was supposed to spend this weekend on my own. Blissfully alone. Quietly alone.
Then I got a call early this morning that one of my kids was sick and would I come and pick him up at his Scout camp. Reception was sketchy so details of when and where to get him were scarce.
A little while later found me driving up a local mountain in search of him. I found the camp. Sort of.
I hiked into a Scout camp but it was the wrong one. I waited at the trailhead. And waited. And then there he was, with his group, having hiked out through the snowy woods.
He was feeling a little better so we hiked back into the woods, up and down snowy, slippery hills, until we reached camp, bringing more firewood as we went.
I ended up staying for lunch while he, his little brother and the other Cubs and Scouts did their thing. I watched as he made lunch.
I didn’t have an agenda. I just hung out.
Later he decided that he wanted to go home, so off we set again through the woods. I watched as he helped the younger kids manoeuvre the slippery slopes.
That night, after dinner, found us cuddled up on the couch watching Sean Penn in Milk, the remarkable, gut wrenching story about gay rights activist Harvey Milk.
This young son of mine is straddling two very different worlds, the world of innocence and childhood and starry nights. And the world of testosterone where manhood can be measured by questionable things.
We’ve been arguing lately about his use of the word gay, as in ‘that’s so gay’.
He picked the video he wanted to watch tonight and so did I. Then we gave them both to the video clerk, who held them both behind his back and my kid pointed randomly to one hidden hand. The hand that held Milk.
We ended up watching the whole movie, deleted scenes, history, making of the movie and all. It was captivating.
Cut to bedtime number one. I’m listening to Stuart McLean’s podcast and Allison Russell is singing “O Holy Night” (click on the Dec 5th show, her song is at the 5 minute mark).
When she gets to the part about falling on one’s knees, my breath catches.
My knees are weak with gratitude, for this unplanned day. For simply being with my son. For watching a remarkable movie that explores difficult themes. Together. For bravery. For hope that things can and do change.
The podcast is still playing. Now she’s singing “God bless this beautiful moment ’til it’s gone”.
It’s finally starting to feel like Christmas.
Lots of love from an appreciative and far away (but getting closer!) husband.
Always and forever.