My Children

The three I carried in my body and some born of my heart

ALCHEMIST

Posted by on Jun 4, 2006 in My Children | 0 comments

I think his natural costume would be a wizard’s robe, but he never dresses up to please himself. In his jeans and tee shirt he is just as magical, patiently conjuring gold from base metal and offering it freely to anyone who takes the time to accept. From his earliest days he seemed an old soul who came to us from a place of peace and wisdom, thrust unexpectedly into our land of chaos. His father knew him the minute they met, and realized the name we picked out before he was born was not right. He is the one who dubbed him Jason, a name from Greek mythology, which means, “to heal”. Just like all the beautiful girls who don’t know they are pretty, Jason seems unaware of his unique ability to bring calm and comfort to those around him. He has become our touchstone, able to evaluate those he knows so well and provide words of magical comfort that bring us back to earth after real or imaginary flights of fancy. With a dislike of conflict, he has interjected himself more than once into a volatile situation, defused the dessension with a few words, and retreated without expecting thanks. He does not seem to allow himself the same mercy he provides to others, sealing the sad and lonely parts of his life beyond reach, or perhaps we just aren’t really listening.

He was born in the cold of winter, sandwiched in the lull between Christmas and New Years, and between his two dramatic siblings. Despite my best intentions to not let the holidays overshadow, he had very few exciting birthdays. If he minded he never complained, just sealed the hurt away, standing a little back from life, watching and analyzing. Even as a child he exhibited an emotional complexity that was difficult for him to put into words, and he was often misunderstood when he tried. Our house was rarely without company in the form of friends that came to visit, or often to live for extended periods. Usually guests and siblings would talk over the top of him when he tried to contribute his ideas to the conversation, but those who knew him well all secretly noticed that he had the same simpatico with their problems that he did with the computer. It became our collective habit to go to him with our secrets, knowing that our private talks would be kept confidential. When he left for college we began to receive amazing email from him, and we were all ashamed that we did not provide him with the opening to speak more frequently.

I have labored so long over the words I want to say to him, but I still cannot capture the riddle that is Jason. He is perched on the brink of a new adventure now, and with his siblings scattered to the corners of the globe, he is feeling a bit at loose ends. I have always been full of advice for my beautiful middle child, but I am determined to step back and let his wisdom and intellect take over. My basic theory of life has always been to do something, even it it’s wrong, and figure out my mistakes later. I hate having a new dress and not wearing it immediately, and my mouth is often slightly ahead of my brain. It seems hard to believe that the baby I bore has turned into a man who calculates, reflects, and weighs each decision before acting. When it is his time, he will turn his alchemy inward to transform himself, and he will be the best of us when he thinks it all through, dons his robes, and embarks on his own special quest.

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