I Have Two Sons

   Posted by: VoGE   in Stories

My Two SonsI have two sons, both of them fine young men in their late teens. I have many reasons to be proud of them both. They are warriors at heart with strong minds, bodies, and spirits. The blood of their heritage burns brightly in them both. They have excellent minds with scholarship opportunities and grade point averages to prove it. All these things in common, yet, they could not be more different one from the other.

Both of them strong willed with a determination to prove the truth as they know it, but with vastly different ways of expressing it between them. While the younger has always considered the “sage advice” of his wise old father when life requires reflection, his older brother pretty much considers the old man’s words to be universally outdated and irrelevant to this “new world” in which we find ourselves.

Yet, despite all these variances in approach, they are both so much like me in so many ways that it amazes (and frightens) their mother on a frequent basis. I have always considered my children to be unique spirits (in the words of Kahlil Gibran, “Your children come through you, not from you.”), and I have never desired making them over in my own image.  That’s a good thing too, because these two young bucks have had their very own – very strong – personalities since their first breath! I know. I was there.

These images of their childhood come flooding in at me this dawn as I adjust to the new reality that our family has begun with a startling suddenness. Last night, about Midnight, the elder son packed a backpack and left into the night without a word…

More than just another spat

It is a very uncertain and certainly sad page in our family history.  What began as a bit of normal sibling pettiness escalated into a major showdown manipulated largely by the Spring Cleaning 2006elder brother. At some point the kidding and prodding became serious, scary and destructive. I credit their discipline as martial artists that neither was hurt, but at the end of it all, property was damaged and most importantly, lines were crossed that are not easily uncrossed.

In the family meeting that followed there were heartfelt apologies from the one, but from the other just constant defiance and negativity. It was decided, reluctantly, that the family had reached a turning point. We could no longer tolerate this arrangement. In short, the time had come for our elder son to leave the household and make his own way.

You can only dimly imagine the storm that followed. In the occasional lull between his angry recriminations (and his mother’s tearful frustrations) we wished him well and offered to assist in the transition (he is in college and Air Force ROTC). But we also instructed him, without wavering, to turn in his key to the house and make immediate arrangements for other lodging after a good night’s sleep.

He chose instead to simply disappear. We can only hope that he found a friend to take him in for the evening, but no welcoming car met him at the curb. He walked down that dark street, alone.

So we await what is next

Andy and MaxieMy son, I would not have chosen this path for you, but it is not my place to choose your path. It is yours. I hope that whatever you are searching for makes you stronger in mind, body, and spirit. I hope that you find the true meaning of what it means to be a man in your new world.

I also hope that you someday come to realize that your family loves you, even when they do not “align with you” in every thought and opinion. When your tolerance for the differences in others grows to include your own family, then you will truly understand. Then, you will be as welcome as the prodigal son!

“Creator, please watch over this young warrior as he makes his own way, sometimes to his own detriment. Please give him insights into the anger boiling within him and help him to ground these emotions, transforming it into positive energy for his own growth and development.

“Guide him safely on this road he’s chosen, Creator, and protect him when he needs it, as you have done for me so many times in the past when I, too, was full of youthful impulse and reckless certainty.

“Finally, Creator, please give me the strength to back away when I am supposed to. If my shadow is what’s blocking my son, then lead him to his own place in the sun!”



This entry was posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2008 at 8:43 am and is filed under Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far


Hi Steve, Ben there(pardon the pun). One thing that has been true since the beginning is that family is the pillar that young lions sharpen their claws on. The things that he thinks are old now will be new and fresh when they are his truths. When I found myself troubled by parenting the one thing that helped me is finding a quiet place in my soul and listening to Joni Mitchell’s old song “The Circle Game”. It became a mantra to me. It was written long before she entered her “blue Period” and is one of the wisest and simple songs she ever wrote. I know you have it in your archives. Give it a try. It can’t hurt. See ya in March I hope, Love Bill

February 10th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I really get that you have to create the space for your son to find his way on his own. This dosn’t make it any easier. I offer you my open space as a fellow elder and embrace you and your family. This is a powerful time and one that brings great lessons. Foremost it is a test of what we have already learned (often hard-earned). Know that I am with you and send my spirit to your son-in-transition and your son-at-home and your wife in the middle and you.

February 11th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Always remember that you still have two sons, and both of them love you.
Being a teen is tough in their minds and sometimes we are not as cognizant
of where they are troubled inside as we think we are.

I also have two sons. It took the Air Force to “straighten” the older one out. My younger son, although a great kid, is just starting to find his path (now 26). Over the years, it has been the mother that has kept our family together. I believe, with your family, the mother figure will find a way, too. Sometimes you just have to let life take its course and trust that you have provided enough guidance along the way that he will survive, be successful with whatever path he chooses, and become the man you believe he will be.

February 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm
Night Eagle

Dear father of two sons. By now I hope there has been some reconciliation with son #1. Remember that as tsalagi, we recognize four emotions (mad, sad, glad, and afraid) Probably son #1 has gone through all of these, but when you are gone with a pack, they can be daunting. That’s why keeping the lines of communication open is important. You raised him to think for himself and be independent. This is his chance to find out if he can.

But this does not mean that you and your wife are to roll over and play dead. Tough love means that you have to let him go. Compassion means that you can listen and not compromise your standards. Forgiveness turns all the mad, sad, and afraid into GLAD.

Someday I hope for the sake of son #1 (and my nephew #232) I hope you can all look back and see the Creator in this. Know of the great love I have for you all. When the dust settles, can this become a new song?

February 27th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

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