Owl_Says_Who

Owl_Says_Who
Birthday
December 16
Bio
I'm sure details will emerge as I write, but how does one encapsulate one's life in words? I consider myself a Michigan native, now misplaced in the southern MidWest. Friends and family have called me a story teller, which is possible. To anyone who reads my work, though, I offer this caution from Isabel Allende, as she describes herself: “If you ask me to tell you my life, I will try; but it will probably be a bag of lies, because I am inventing myself all the time. And at the same time, I am inventing fiction, and through this fiction, I am revealing myself.” Cast of Characters: The Raven = My Wife. To be clear, I'm also her wife. The Giant = Our Son. I haven't legally adopted him (though I would have), but after so many years, he knows I am his parent, AKA Tia.

MY RECENT POSTS

Owl_Says_Who's Links

MY LINKS
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 28, 2009 3:42AM

Of Basketball and a Broken Heart

Rate: 64 Flag

About a month ago, the Giant announced that he needed $10 to enter a 3-on-3 tournament with some of his friends from school.  Naturally, my ears perked up with this unexpected news; at 15, the Giant had never once expressed any interest in organized sports, and had only taken up weightlifting in the last year as a means to "get buff." 

The prospect of watching him play ball with a bunch of other guys was exciting.  And who knows?  Maybe this would be the beginning of something pretty cool for the Giant, and for me as well.  I mean, hell - I used to play, back in the day.  And maybe I could sit in the stands and cheer for him, you know, the way that parents do.

"So Giant - when is this tournament?"

"I dunno, in a couple of weeks," he said.  His voice already has a seasoned-man depth, making him sound a decade older.  "You probably have to work, and that's okay - you don't have to go."

"What if your Mom and I want to watch you play?"

"I guess that'd be okay.  But you don't have to, all right?"

"Right, okay - I'll keep that in mind."  I was already pushing work deadlines around in my head, mentally clearing spaces for the tournament.  "So who else is on the team?"

"A couple of guys from the basketball team asked me if I would play on their team," he said, gazing at the ceiling.  At about 6'2", his head always looks like it's close to the ceiling.  "I guess they saw me shooting around in the gym while I was waiting for the weight room, and thought I was okay."

"Yeah, that makes sense, they would want someone who can keep up with their level of play."

I was thinking about the last time I'd seen him shooting a ball, a few weeks ago.  I was thinking about who I would have chosen back in the days of running up and down the parquet floor.  I mentally shrugged - he must be doing something right on court.

"So, Giant, when do you need the money by, and isn't there some kind of permission slip that your Mom will need to sign?"

"I need it by Thursday, and I'll bring the permission slip home tomorrow night.  Or the next night.  You don't have to go, you know?"

"We'll see, Giant, we'll see.  The fact is, I'd like to go, if I can.  It would be cool to see you play."

"Yeah, okay.  Well, I'm going to bed.  I worked out hard today."  He put his hands behind his head and stretch-flexed, exhaling dramatically for emphasis, then trudged gracefully down the hall to his room.

_____________________

Flash forward to the signing of the permission slip.  He pulled the worn 2"x2" folded square out of the back pocket, and tossed in on the counter where Raven was sitting.  She unfolded it slowly.

"So, Giant, when is the big day?"  I asked, trying to keep my swelling chest from showing.

"I dunno - it's probably on the permission slip."

Getting specific information from the Giant has always been a little like panning for gold - you have to sift through a lot of "I dunno," and likely call the school to find out anything of value.  Nonetheless, he doesn't miss important deadlines.  I have always found this curious, but I have always been that way too; despite the fact that we do not share any DNA, he consistently reminds me of . . . me.

"Says here . . .," Raven paused.

"Look, it doesn't matter," the Giant interrupted.  "Nothing personal, but I don't want either one of you to go to the tournament.  Seriously."

"Dude, the other day you said . . ."

"Yeah, I know that's what I said, but I changed my mind."

I could feel the blood rushing to my ears, but kept an even tone.

"Giant, why should your Mom sign a permission slip, and why should we give you $10 to enter a tournament that we're not even 'allowed' to attend - what's the point for us?"

"Fine.  If you're going to show up, then I'm not playing."

"Dude, what about the team?"

"I'll explain to them tomorrow that something came up, and I can't do it.  I'm sure they can find someone to take my place - it's not like I'm definitely playing, because they're already working on finding a 4th player to rotate in.  If you come to the thing, I'm not playing.  I'm serious."  The Giant was keeping an even tone also, even though I could see he was upset.

" . . . "

" . . . "

I took a deep breath, looking for bargaining chips.

"Look man, you know how much I have tried to stay invisible when it comes to you and school.  I can more or less blend in with a crowd, and I don't have to be obvious that I even know you."

"Tia, it's not that - I don't care about that, you're fine.  I'm saying I don't want you OR Mom to go.  It's not about you.  I want to try this, and see how it goes.  I don't want you guys there watching!"

I took another deep breath.  My ears were on fire.  I looked out the window so that he couldn't see me willing the lump in my throat to pass peacefully.  Another breath, exhaling slowly.  I could hear a mower running from three yards over.  I turned to face him.

"Okay, Giant, I will not come to watch.  I think you understand why this is hard for me - we've talked about it before.  But it is more important to me that you play.  I think you have a point, that it could be something you enjoy, and I appreciate that you're trying to expand your interests. 

Now, for the moment, I would like you to go to your room so that I don't say a whole bunch of shit that is probably unrelated to this situation, and will only make both of us feel like hell.  Give me about an hour, so that I don't knock your head off needlessly, okay?"

"God, Tia, it's not that big a deal . . . and it's not just you, it's you AND Mom, why do I have to . . . "

"Look - I'm really trying to be cool here.  I'm not going to succeed with you standing here.  Go.  Now."

"Fine."

I didn't watch him as his footsteps echoed down the hall.  Instead, I went to the cabinet, grabbed my favorite highball glass, and poured myself a couple of fingers of Cuervo.  I sipped quietly, focusing on the scent of fresh cut grass and mower fumes that wafted faintly.

_____________________

Raven was watching me out of the corner of her eye.  She finally spoke.

"Remember when we were teaching him to ride a bike?"

"Yeah,"  I said, swirling the drink in my glass.

"Remember why we couldn't teach him on the sidewalk, or on the street, like most people?"

I sighed, but didn't meet her gaze.

"Yes," I absorbed myself in the way the light played through the golden tequila.

"Remember what a perfectionist he was?"

"Yes - and I know you have a point here, but just draw me the picture.  What am I missing in this situation?"  My tone was much sharper than she deserved, but I couldn't help it.  I took another sip, because I knew she was going to answer.

"Look.  He's probably telling the truth.  He's not ready to be seen playing ball, in case he's not good at it.  It's his thing, now, if he plays basketball."

"So?"

"So he's not quite ready to meet Coach Tia Owl."

"Right.  That's what it is.  That's gotta be it," I said it angrily.  "It couldn't be that when you and I are in the same vicinity, people automatically know we're a couple - everyone says it, so it must be true - hell, even you say it . . . "

"That's not what it is, honey . . . that's not it," Raven said.  She got off the the stool and took a step toward me.  I kept looking out the window over the sink, abstractly noting the dripping faucet.  She slowly stroked from the base of my neck to my shoulders.  "He loves his Tia.  He's just . . . growing up."

"Well, I hate it, and it's not fair, anyway."

"I know, honey, it's not fair," she breathed into my ear, and folded her arms around me.  I turned around so I could bury my face in her neck.

"It's not fair, baby, but it's okay," Raven said. And I broke, finally, leaking the weight and sorrow from my eyes to her shirt, quietly, with ragged breath.  "It's gonna be okay, honey . . . it is."

"How do you know?"

"Because, I know him, and I know you.  It's gonna be okay," she said, patting my back.

_____________________

I'll be honest with you - I'll never know for sure what made the Giant decide he didn't want us there.  The point ended up being moot, since one of his teammates didn't get around to paying his part of the entrance fee.  I know what I choose to believe.

I also know that we've come a long way.  40 years ago, this post wouldn't have existed, not just because the technology didn't exist, but because I wouldn't have dared write that I'm a lesbian, and that I consider the Giant my son.  We've come a long way, and there are still miles to go before we sleep.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (widely considered the first public protest for GLBT rights) several OSers have posted excellent pieces.  Though my list is most likely incomplete, please take a moment to visit the following (if you haven't already):

From Tijo:  Barack Talks the Talk

From FingerLakesWanderer:  40 Years and Counting

From Robin Sneed:  Celebrating Stonewall

Blessings, all . . . it's not fair . . . but hopefully, it'll be okay.  Together, we can make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
I started on this before I realized that today is the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Among many other heroes, blessings on those who stood up for we GLBT folk . . .
It's sad, but I'm going to have to look up Stonewall.

and I can completely see why he wouldn't want to have you guys there for the first time- what if he sucked? You would have to say nice things, and he would know, by tone of voice, by eye contact that you were disappointed. It would compound the misery. I would feel the same about my folks, if I were trying something new, and I'm almost 40.
Bless you, dear Owl! This piece wouldn't have been allowed back then, and your bravery in life, in here, is what makes it worth continuing the fight for. Happy Pride! You have so much to celebrate...thank you for sharing that with us. xox
h-Julie - Yeah, in retrospect, I felt the same way about music I wrote in relation to my Dad's opinion of it - he knew the stuff inside and out, and his critiques were just as you describe.
Robin - Happy Pride indeed! It's a good year . . . it's gonna be a good year. I think that, little by little, we're rising up strong and wise . . . brother/sister, I'm proud to call you my friend!
Strong post Owl. If it helps, my mother swears I pretended I didn't know her throughout high school (though I don't remember it that way at all). Now my children spend at least some of their time acting like I'm invisible. And even when I get to attend events, I don't get to comment because I'm always wrong. They'll get me properly trained one of these days!
Owl, Is it possible that he wants something that all his and this has little to do with you? He wants the chance to explore his limits, screw up on the court, enjoy the camraderie, and claim it as his own. It was his first game afterall.
Owl - very well written, as always. I get this, I get Giant. I was like Giant some when I was finding my way in the world - preferring to do things in private or atleast away from the eyes of my parents, until I had decided I was confident enough to share. I see the same thing in my kids now - my son not wanting to read in front of us until he could read every single word, my daughter not wanting me to come to her first camper skit in the council circle, my other daughter wanting to keep her bedtime drawings to herself. I think it is a universal part of growing up for most of us. Listen to Giant -I think some of your wisdom is rubbing off on him. I will make sure to get to those other posts, too, thanks.
Owl. There is so much depth here. So many layers in this parenting thing. And I'll exit this comment by saying Mamoore just left a profound track.
Oh, Owl...I know how hard it is not to take it personally, but kids can put spies to shame with their need for privacy at times. It does hurt, though. I'm sorry.
Poor owl and poor giant. It isn't fair to either of you that instead of just having a normal parent/child antagonism you have to wonder what part of the conflict is because of the homophobia of our society.
If it is any help I, like giant, like to practice on my own before any public displays. I read and google and try it with no one else around, practice in my head a hundred times. I vote for giving the kid the benefit of the doubt and chalking it up to his developing need for autonomy but recognize that I don't have a vote so do with the advice what you will. I'm just glad to see you post. Stay strong sister. Much love to you and yours during the holidays.
This is superb -- and sad. Beautifully presented. Happy 40th. (And thanks for the links).
This is an important piece, Owl, but maybe not for the reason you think. First of all, Giant sounds like such a good kid, a nice kid, a kid I would really like. (He's also a lucky kid.) It's so clear how important you and Raven are to him - that he didn't want to fail in front of either of you.

I think he was telling you as clearly as he could, and more than once, that this wasn't about you. It's about him. And for a kid like him, that's sort of a big thing to say. I know it's hard, but really try to hear him, just hear him. He was coming from his own place, his own fears, his own worries, his own life. And he needs you to get that. Because if you do hear him and get it? How much stronger and deeper your shared relationship will be. He will share more and more with you and you'll be able to offer even more meaningful guidance as one of the loving adults in his life.

Maybe use this opportunity to say to him, "Hey, I'm sorry I didn't get what you were saying before. I just worry that the relationship between your mum and I impacts everything. And I forget that you have your own separate issues." That way, if there are some things he wants to talk about regarding you two, you've safely opened the door, and yet you've still made it about him. Because no matter who the teenager is, it's is always about them. That's where they are developmentally. It's their job to make it about them.

I loved what this piece shows about you and Raven. Two different types of mothering and understanding that support and enhance each other, and are in the best interest of the child. Really, really lovely.

I admire you.
It IS happening. We've all come a long way. Lots of tears, but change is in the air.
Wakingupslowly is a genius and an articulate one at that. Great advice.
This is a great story on a number of levels. I had to read it twice to get the full gist of what was going on. Rated.
Oh Lord, tough for you and tough for the kid--especially a kid struggling with his 15 year old identity and hormones. You'll get there!
This is one of so many reasons I love OS – the dialogue we have. What a wonderful thing to “wake up” to!

Annette – So true. And doesn’t it make you wonder how they’ll remember it when they look in the rear-view mirror?

Athena – I think you hit the nail on the head. It was one of those times where it’s probably just part of the growing up process, but my own issues came dribbling out.

Mamoore – Yes. I do think you’re right about that. Sometimes, as a gay parent who’s trying to do the right thing by laying low, it’s easy to assume that peer-pressure is at work against me – that idea is painful. It was a relief to believe that it’s just part of the growing up process – and that’s probably exactly what it is.

Scupper – Thanks for coming by – I’m always glad to see you!

Charity – Exactly – I know I put my parents through it too!

Tijo – I think that’s precisely what I was trying to show here. There’s the “normal” part of parenting, then there’s the layer of issues that cannot be controlled – the “extra” fears. In this case, I had to own that they were probably mine.

Steve – Thanks. In a universal sense, it just showed me how often, as parents, we project our fears/expectations onto our kids, even when we don’t want to. It also made me appreciate my own parents a bit more.

Wakingupslowly – Thank you for your insight, and your kind words. The next day, the Giant and I were on our way to the store, and I apologized to him, much as you suggested. It ended up being a pretty cool conversation. On our way back from the store, we ended up talking a little bit of basketball, but I made sure to let him lead the conversation.

The thing that struck me after writing this piece was how universal it is to accidentally project our fears/expectations onto our kids – it’s such a tough balance: be careful about this thing that I fear, but don’t let it paralyze you.

Dcvdickens – Yep – change is in the air . . . we’ll get there!

Jeff – Thanks, man. Was it a good thing having to read it twice, or was I too subtle? :~)

Walter – Parenting a teenager is perilous, no matter what the circumstances!
Terrific post, Owl. And congrats on the EP- well deserved.
Happy 40th and much love and PRIDE!
Dharma – thanks, sister! Back atcha’!

Robin - :~) xox
When I was a young girl I was trying to learn to ride a bike out back of my grandparents house. I was and am a perfectionist and insecure. After falling a couple of times I looked up to see my grandfather, mother and grandmother watching me out the window and my grandfather was laughing his head off. I threw down the bike, ran away, cried and never tried again.
I choose to believe that Giant wants for you to see him at his best.
Here's to making it all fair, all the time, for everyone. Call me an idealist.
As I read this, the lump in my throat got bigger and bigger and it was only dissolved by tears. Thank you for this.
Stellaa – thanks. It’s definitely a consolation, and thankfully Raven spotted it before the wheels in my imagination came right off the wagon!

Lifehalflived – I think you’re probably right . I certainly had similar experiences with my folks. Just too easy to project my own fears into the mix sometimes . . .

Sandra – Amen. Without idealism, we have nothing to shoot for!

Coyote – Bless you, woman. Your empathy touches my heart as well - we work shoulder to shoulder in this way. I think this is how we make the world better – we are all more alike than we are unalike. We learn as we live.
i loved this post. loved it. my sister and her partner share, with his father, custody of my 15 year old nephew. living in the apartment below them for five years, i've been privy to scenes just like this one so many times. it's poignant and it underscores beautifully the sameness of parental relationships to straight families. what kid doesn't go through times when they don't want their parents involved in their life, even though they really do? i send happy pride greetings and hopes for a more equal future.
Clover - Thanks so much for sharing that bit of your life! Happy pride greetings to you and yours as well!
Michael: Like others have shared, I, too, must feel complete confidence in my ability to do something before anyone I respect or admire sees me do it. So I know from personal experience that it’s nothing personal, but I also understand how the added dimension of being in a relationship that society is prejudiced against makes this experience all the more difficult. That must be very hard. That must hurt. A lot.

Melissa: If it’s any consolation, Franny and Zooey went through an adolescent phase of wanting to independent—and they’re birds! Instead of landing on our heads and our arms all the time and cuddling up to us like they had as fledglings, they became more distant and even flew to the other side of the room when we entered. I know it doesn’t compare to the heartbreak of what you’re going through, but it really did hurt when they did this. They had learned to fly and eat and drink all on their own, and they no longer had as much of a need for us. Within a few weeks or maybe a month, they grew more affectionate toward us again, and they haven’t changed since. It was just some weird teenager rebellion thing they had to go through, and then they were back to their friendly, crazy selves again.

Melissa: It’s heartrending to watch someone we’ve come to care so much for have to go through this painful uncertainty. It makes me even angrier about the viral bigotry and ignorance that has made this country such a hostile environment for anyone different—and especially the GLBT community, since they are among the few groups it’s actually considered “acceptable” to hate. Until people begin feeling shame and disgust about the haters—instead of the wrongfully hated—the ignorant are going to continue thinking it’s okay to keep hating.

Michael: You and Raven have a lot of courage. I admire you both.

Melissa: Yes, we think both of you are wonderful.
Metaness (M&M) – Thanks so much for your kind words.

@Michael: “the added dimension of being in a relationship that society is prejudiced against makes this experience all the more difficult. That must be very hard. That must hurt. A lot.”

Although it does hurt sometimes, it usually doesn’t hurt within our home. It adds an extra layer to the confusion of relationships and parenting, though. We spend most of our time focusing on the blessings, which helps a lot.

@Melissa - I hadn’t thought about our animal friends! I’m glad you mentioned your experience with Franny and Zooey, because it reminded me that we’ve seen the same thing in our cats (too numerous to name, lest I leave one out). And thanks for your support. We live in a very rural area, where stereotypes are born and raised; knowing that there is a wider world out there which actively works against the hate/fear gives us courage to do what we can do, even in our little corner.

@M&M: You are both quite wonderful yourselves. So glad you are here on OS!
Owl, I believe a lot of this is the "Despite the fact we don't share the same DNA, I see a lot of myself in him". I also see myself in my step-son, mom says we are just a like. He loves you Owl, probably doesn't want to "fuck up" in front of you. My kid was like that. Keep your head up, he will make you proud. Happy 40th...,
Owl - powerful post, powerful voice. An excellent tribute to the love you have for home and family. I don’t know if I am reading too much into this, but I saw love reflected back at you too from Raven and from Giant. Since you wrote it, I think you felt some of it too or feel it now even if subconsciously. Happy Pride day.

peece and love,
dj
Touching and universal, Owl. This 40 is a major event. I remember what it was like, pre -Stonewall, and whatever the problems, things are so much better than they were.
As others have said, it's hard to differentiate between when a teenager feels ashamed of his/her parents (and it can be anything--my dad hated being seen with his mother because he thought she wore ugly shoes) and when a teenager merely longs to be independent. And what a pisser to have to get your permission to shoot hoops. And how heartbreaking that in ~that moment~ he has to reject you. (Blame the litigatious culture that made him.)

I feel your pain, and frankly I am shocked my almost 13 daughter doesn't already take more detours on her way home from school in Tokyo, but I know those days are coming. Here, since the trains stop from midnight to 5, the clubbing kids stay out all night, and I think, OMFG! But the mom whose daughter is already doing this reassures me so far, so good, and I think, I wonder if it's because she's British. Maybe they just don't have enough American anxiety.

I need to find my taped and held together with a rubberband copy of _Woman On The Edge Of Time_ and read it again, and maybe you'd find comfort in it, as well. I don't remember much of the domestic violence/sci-fi conflict plot, but I still vividly remember my mind being blown in college with the concept of a society that lets kids choose when they want to leave home on a vision quest of sorts and rename themselves and build their own hut (which everyone has), and how much I would have adored that. (The beauty of my parents' obsession with my sports "career"; they didn't even know I'd been editor of the school paper for two years until the last months of my senior year! And given their obsessiveness, why would I have told them?)

So I try to remember that, even as I lament, My baby, my baby, how did you get so quickly to the antsy time? I suspect it's heartbreaking no matter how much they reject your having discovered them on the radar or include you in their blinking progress across the screen.

So I listen to Nanci Griffth's version of "Turn Around" and cry every time my daughter goes out the door, and remember how proud I was the first time she ran out that door to play without me and what a luxury those quiet moments were to read a book, and now, of course, I have more minutes of silence than I can count, and they are only going to increase until she leaves home, and suddenly I want to change the obviously poor example I've set of only calling my mom once a week! (Note to "Sandwiched Generation" self: Teach daughter and mother how to Skype. As soon as I learn.)

A wonderfully written read. Sorry for your heartbreak, but I hope the writing was healing.
As you say, things have changed quite a bit in the last 40 years. There's still a long way to go though.
Scanner – I’m betting that you’re right, though it will never make me stop worrying . . . I am a parent, after all!

Jimenace – Thanks, dj – I know that they love me too, so the fact that it came through in my writing does me a great honor, in that the fact came through honestly.

Lea – No doubt things are better. Even things that Giant says about people he goes to school with signal that the tides are moving. Slowly, but they’re moving.

ButchyBabbles – You know exactly what I’m talking about! And I may need to look into that book. My own bit of comfort in trying times is “The Fifth Sacred Thing” by Starhawk. Good luck in Tokyo – we live in a microscopic rural town, where everything is within walking distance (especially for a Giant), and I’m not sure if that’s better or worse. Thanks for your kind words – heartbreak is part of parenting, period, and the writing always seems to bring additional clarity.

Nana – I love knowing that you’re in our corner!
If I could write like this, I would. Beautiful.
O'Really - If I could write like you, I would, too! Thanks for coming by!
Beautifully told and beautifully felt. All you can do is be honest, which you do so well.
Hell's Bells - They say it's the best policy, right? ::sigh:: I need to try writing some fiction . . . :~)
Painful, heart breaking and bittersweet for what has evolved over 40 years with still many more differences to be made. Gorgeous, Owl. Just gorgeous.
Owl, he's the gent you've raised him to be. Stands to reason that dealing with him will suck for you just as much as dealing with you has sucked for him in the past.

You are not ashamed of him, he is not ashamed of you. But the shame that others directed toward you made you want to protect him. He wants to protect you from the shame that other people direct toward him.

He's a good man. A good man is always frustrating and hard to deal with. We teach our children to have sense and spines and to handle things on their own. You've done just fine.

Now the hard part. Trusting that he'll take what you gave him and letting him go with it when he asks.

This is about him. You're right to be proud.
Giant is such a great kid. I remember how hard life was at that age. I think the hardest part of parenting is giving kids the space they want without taking it personally. And when you're parenting a great kid like Giant, well, it's hard not to because you love him so.

And happy 40th!
Cartouche – Thanks so much for reading . . . and for your graciousness. Day by day . . .

Dicea – I love the clear reality of “Stands to reason that dealing with him will suck for you just as much as dealing with you has sucked for him in the past.” That is exactly it!! And yeah. The trusting thing. Jeez.

Maria – You are exactly right – giving space is not the easiest transition, but we hope and we try to trust. So far so good. Now let us pray! And thanks – 40 years is a good start!
Based on my own experience, I think Raven is probably right. Like Giant, I've always hated to have people I know watching me when I'm doing something I don't yet feel confident about. I think that's pretty common, at least among certain personality types.

Just read the comments, which confirms what I'm telling you. This kind of thing is typical. I even had to teach myself to drive. To nerve-racking having parents in the car.

I trust by this time you're feeling much better and any Cuervo that's going down is in celebration of those brave folks at Stonewall.

Excellent post.
Laurel – Yep. This happened something like a month ago – plenty of time for perspective to set in . . . but man, it helps to hear the confirmation! And in honor of Stonewall, I’ve poured out a bit on the ground . . . for our fallen brothers and sisters.
As I read this, I felt so sad that this is a world where you have to worry about what others think of a devoted couple sitting to watch their son at a game. But....I did think that it really might have been that he didn't want to suck in front of you...even before the anecdote about the bike, I thought that maybe he felt like it was a lot of pressure. If he was bad and you were there, then you'd want to console him and you and he would know, but if he didn't do well on his own, then no one else at home thinks of him as a failed basketball player. At his age especially, they want to try some things on their own to see if they can do it. I know you know that, but I just had to say it. I remember similar things from that age.
Oh how hard for you! But I can see how the Giant might want to try new things on his own, without the 'rents. Because its obvious thats how he thinks of you. Think of how much he trusts you - enough to tell you not to come.
Delia – I think you’re exactly right. It’s helped to here that confirmed by so many, though. Thanks so much for coming by!

“Hello” – Thanks for coming by. :~)

Dorelvis – I hadn’t really thought of it that way – that he trusts us enough to tell us not to come. Excellent point. Thanks for your insight!
Owl - Big hugs and high hopes. Maybe he will open up about whatever he is feeling soon. Just let him feel it and I know it will work itself out.
I'm so glad this made the cover. Well deserved!
ApacheSavage – Anything’s possible! He tends to let things out in little steps, and he has a well-developed sense of how to de-escalate himself, so no doubt it will work out. For the most part, it already has.
Great post Tia. Growing up is hard. Well told story.
Steve – Thanks! It’s an honor, among so many great writers, and as we well know, a capricious honor.
OE - Thanks, growing up is hard on all of us. And the compliment means a lot, coming from you!
Shoot, I still do things I don't tell my parents about.

I am so, so, so late to this. You did a magnificent job balancing your family's voices and yours. I'm so glad that this is on the cover.
Mrs. M. - Didn't we all? It's hard to remember that in the middle of things, though. And thanks - I really worked for that balance. :~)
Oh, Owl. What profound writing. You have found a powerful way to relate the larger struggles of the GLBTQ movement to everyday life, and I thank you for it. My heart aches for all three of you. Peace and blessings.
Painful, poignant, beautiful. That is you, Tia.

Brava!
Might just be his age, you know. "Getting specific information from the Giant has always been a little like panning for gold,"
At dinner, when we asked our second son what he did in school that day, he said, "Stuff."
Take heart in Mark Twain, who commented that when he was 18, he believed his father to be stupid, and when he reached 21, he was amazed by how much the man had learned in three years.
Applies to mothers, too.
Honestly, I don't think it had anything to do with either of you. At some point boys separate from their moms...physically or mentally or both. But, it doesn't mean they don't love you.

Thanks for sharing.
I remember when my kids started asking me not to attend stuff that they participated in. I thought it was because of the divorce; they just didn't think I was cool. rAted! (and understood)
Congratulations. I almost missed this:`Owl_toots hoots.
Owl takes us into realms of paradise. Owl_no stub_toes.
Be careful.
I only know what people 'should' or 'must' say ... "..." on ant given day. And what I accidently read. I wish people would not say "You 'should' ot 'must' behave today. Owl_Says_So "..." that these are good reads.
I believe that.
I was told:`
"You 'should' get an avatar."
Maybe I 'must' be androgynous?
I am not certain about what now?
I read Hermaphrodite wore a nighty.
Ay, hoot owl. Owl_Says_So? O okay.
I hopes I understood Owl_Says_`So?
I enjoyed Sir Owl_Say:`cook goo soup.
AshKW – It’s nice to think that my everyday life, as boring as it is, and so very “normal” in most ways, actually has relevance to larger issues; thanks so much for that connection. Namaste, Ash!

ConnieMack – My, thank you!

AtHomePilgrim – Great Twain comment – thanks for that, and nice to know ours is not the only son who never has much to say about his daily life!
Buffy W – Yep, probably true. It’s just a part of the growing up thing!

Mr. Mustard – I so appreciate your perspective – thanks!

Sir Arthur – Always glad to see you! I think you understand perfectly, and thanks so much for your kindness. I try to be very careful, even when I don’t behave. “Shoulds” and “musts” are so over-rated, don’t you think?
typo. not ant, but any day.
I meant to say:`General Stonewall Jackson was fighting 'round here along the Potomac River.
There's Dam # 5, and 4- locks.
Then, you can go to Paw Paw.
That'd the poor man banana.
Owl_Says_So:`It's okay to eat?
It's too mushy:`No fight overs
potato peals or banana skins.
Owl_Says_So need chiding's.
Owl_Says_So no wear thong.
no intentionally do one wrong.
Sir Arthur - :~) Not to worry . . . I read/write typos all day long. Love your addition. Blessings, peace, fruit of the earth, and fruit of the loom to you!
This is SO GOOD! I read it 3 times just to try to live it. I lived a piece of it as a kid. I would not be surprised if it is the relationship, and simultaneously if it absolutely is not. I suspect that it is because he is a kid. For me, the sport was baseball. I remember being asked about my game schedules, and being requested to post the schedule on the bulletin board repeatedly. Mom told me that she and Dad wanted to know the dates so they could attend. I was willing, but I used to always say, I dont know why its such a big deal, its just kids playing baseball. I can remember thinking, this is not a level of activity that is worthy of consumption. They explained, its not about it being good. Its about you. They said, you'll understand when you're a parent.

But they never let MY lack of enthusiasm for their enthusiasm lessen their enthusiasm. My parents are both gone now, and I can wear their interest in me as a child, that was beyond my comprehension, like a luxurious, comfortable garment now. It is with me now that I understand it better. Dont you let his inability to understand now stop your enthusiasm either. He will appreciate it later.
Really good post, Owl. I think it's the simple, personal stories that really speak to us. I do think (hope?) that it's just a teen thing. I didn't want to be around my parents in public when I was a teen either.

Thanks for sharing. You're a great parent. I hope I'm that good someday.

;)
Wonderful and heart wrenching story. Give him time. He'll grow and open up. High School is a tough time on teens and they have so much stress and pressure. You sound like a very good and understanding mom though.
Rated
Bill – you pay me a high compliment, sir! And your input is much valued.

Gwendolyn – Thanks – and I hope you’re right!

KOB – Hey brother! Thanks, man – very much appreciate your take on the story. I guess we’re all growing together, right?
My son is this way. Only his dad was allowed to go to his baseball games until his team was in the championships (and dad was only allowed because someone had to drive). And before that, as a baby, he would practice talking/sitting/standing before trying it in front of anyone. I used to listen to him through the baby monitor trying out a new word over and over again until he got it right, before he would say it in front of anyone else.

Blessings to all those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots. I support any and all GLBT rights. Sad that the fight still has to continue on for so long.
I'm speechless and if I had to speak out loud, I wouldn't be able to. All I can muster right now are the words "powerful" and "thank you".
Raising teenagers is SO hard, no matter who you are. My own 15 year old daughter would probably prefer that I only leave the house to buy groceries. The good news is that my 21 and 23 year old kids are no longer embarrassed by me...much.

It IS gonna be okay.
catchyseachild - Giant used to do that, too! His stories to himself were really impressive. And thank you for your support of GLBT rights - it means a great deal!

marytkelly - God/dess bless you. I love what you are writing, also, BTW.

cruelwench - It pains me to call you by your screen-name, as I sense that it is a tiny part of the story. Maybe Giant and your 15 year old would hit it off . . . they could talk about everything they don't want to talk about with us!
it's not easy for us straight folks either, if that's any consolation.
Cap'n - It ain't easy, period. I feel your pain, too!
Great post, Owl. I'm sorry I'm coming to it two days late.

I found myself empathizing with the Giant, though. I always had an independent streak, and I was always a bit of a perfectionist. I didn't want anyone to see something that wasn't a finished product. I took piano lessons, for example, but I wouldn't practice if there was anyone else in the house. Same thing with the guitar. And with play practice. And marching band rehearsals. But it was never about my parents: it was always about me.

Like I said, great post. Rated.
Oh Owl! Teenagers are, well, so adolescent! And Tias just have to grin and bear it, yes? You will have to report back on the first game that you are "allowed" to witness. :D
Shaggy - I would never begrudge Giant any sympathy! He's had to put up with a lot, and, well, he's a teenager. Your perspective is most welcome. Honestly - it took me a little while, but I did come to realize that he's growing up, and I am too.
Shivaun - again we post comments simultaneously! Yes, they are; yes, we do; and yes, I will. ;~)
And here I am expecting an article about basketball. Nice curveball.

RATED
Littlewillie - I'm not nearly so funny as you, so I've got to maximize my assets :~) Thanks for coming by, though! Hope it wasn't too big a "bait and switch."
First, what a good post. And an EP and 60 comments, and, as usual, I am very late, but, well, here I am.

I was one of those kids who died if either of my parents went to see me play ball or in the band and I was still very unsure of my abilities. I just didn't want them to see me screw up. Unfortunately that seldom became an issue because my mother came to almost none of my school events and my dad was usually working at a second job to keep food on the table. But had they come I would have been mortified. But, hey, that is just me.

Great dialogue.

Monte
Love this post and all the dialog! Happy 40th and keep up the great parenting. I can feel that there is an enormous amount of love in your heart, for your son and family. All the best!
Monte - It's been really reassuring to hear that from so many people. I was that way too, but it's hard to know sometimes what's going on, and whether it even matters.

Peacebeing - Thanks - I was really trying to see if I could do it in mostly dialogue. Giant will always be his Mom's baby, but he'll always be my boy.

Cindy - We all do the best we can, right? Namaste.