Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Step Towards Who He Will Be

It was with a disconcerting sense of normalcy that I hopped into a car with my mother, sister, and grandfather on June 9 and trekked to Mountain Town High School to watch Thomas graduate as a member of the Class of 2013.

I was aware, academically, that he had started high school in only 2009. I was aware as well that he was just embarking on his freshman year when I was already in my early twenties. But somehow the fact that it all happened only a few moments ago made the whole thing seem more mundane. Yes, Thomas was graduating high school. But I suppose he hadn't been there long enough for it to surprise me.

There is no denying, however, that a very real part of our mutual lives has ended. For much of the existence of this blog we were ensconced, he at the secondary and I at the university level, within the cocoon of school. As he embarked on the ordinary revelations of teenhood and I experienced a flowering that I now recognize as a (medically improbable) recovery from serious brain illness, we found ourselves together on a road of roughly equivalent adolescence despite the difference in our ages. He was learning how to be a young man and I was learning how to, well, be. We took each other seriously and understood where the other was. I think it's why we got along so well.

But now the extended childhood is over. For me, that means a welcome step into the adulthood I am finally ready to embrace, into a career and a values system that I hope will define the structure of my life for many years to come. For him, it is an open door whose threshold is shrouded in mist. That mist can be an amazing thing. Some people convert it into a rain of diamonds or a hail of amber, the great opening peal of a joyous song. But it can cripple, too. I've seen young men, like Powell, get lost in it and forget that it's eventually meant to dissipate.

Thomas, for now, is at the beginning of his pseudo-boyhood, and the choices that will define him don't all yet need to be made.

As he begins one part of this journey, I can't help but wonder who he'll be when he comes out on the other side.


naturgesetz said...

From all you've said about him, I think he'll probably do fine. He certainly has my congratulations on this milestone in his life and my best wishes for what is to come.

Great "threshold" pic!

laura b. said...

It is nice for the two of you, that in spite of the difference in your ages, you've had that sense of companionship on your parallel journeys.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Thomas!

What a touching piece, BB. I am sure that both of you are embarking on a life of satisfaction and fulfillment. But don't think of it as a separation from him. No matter what path he takes you will always be his older brother, the one he gets along with, who cares about you and vice versa. Good luck and godspeed to you both!

Peace <3

Arizaphale said...

A rain of diamonds, a hail of amber. Beautiful. Hard being in the background watching all this go down though.....(I speak for myself there).
Congrats to Thomas. He;s still going to need you, you know?