My teenage graduate ticked us off between the ceremony and the celebration dinner with friends, as is commonly the way with him, such that we failed to find a moment between then and his speedy exit for senior week at the beach, to feel benevolent enough towards him to offer our gifts. Just as an aside, I will say that this kid has as his specialty, conflict. He creates it even when it isn’t naturally present, and even when it is not in any way reasonably likely. He loves confrontation. At least with us. So, the idea that he could squeeze that in just moments after the misty-eyed scene of him walking up in cap and gown to receive the evidence of thirteen years of education, and the trip to a very fun Asian restaurant we rarely visit immediately afterward, is not surprising at all.
Last night, after his unexpectedly early return from senior week (he seemed a little tired) we gave him his presents. One of my favorites which I will confess was mostly for me, was a Dr. Seuss book entitled, “Oh the Places You Will Go”. I haven’t even read it yet, but I have read Dr. Seuss since my grandmother got me a monthly subscription to the classic hard cover books when I was a nine, and which still sit on my bookshelf. Dr. Seuss has been my inspiration for silliness for as long as I can remember. And Dr. Seuss is the one who told me I could draw even when I cannot. No matter how funny a face is drawn, no matter how exaggerated and weird, it is, apparently, legitimate. And Dr. Seuss told me it is perfectly okay to say silly things just because they rhyme or sort of rhyme or kind of are related because we think so. Dr. Seuss has been an especially good friend to me over the years because he has helped me teach all my children these lessons: to laugh and be silly any time of day, to see the absurd obtuseness in everything, that what seems possibly relevant, may very well be, if you put it in some roughly logical context. All of this, a brainstorming kind of feeling I value greatly.
I asked my kiddo if we might sit together and read his new book. But he thought….only maybe…and only later. I think if he wants the car keys again, since I have gotten the green light to do my own driving now, that maybe we need to go down that road of reading stories together just one more time, first.