Monday, March 16, 2009

Message in a Bottle

Just a castaway
An island lost at sea
Another lonely day
With no one here but me
More loneliness
Than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair
I'll send an SOS to the world
     --The Police, Message in a Bottle

"You used to have this amazing belly laugh when you were a kid."


"Your smile would light up your face. Huge smile."


"And you used to come in and jump on the bed Saturday mornings. Laughing and laughing."

"I remember."

"You'd beat on me and wrestle me, and I wouldn't want to get up."

"That too."

"I miss that belly laugh. I miss that smile."


"Everything changed when you became a teenager."

everythingeverythingeverything. "No. Not everything. Just me."


Linda S. Socha said...

This is one of those posts where I wish you were reading it and there would be a pause and the I would feel it is ok to say.....Tell me more?
Love your writing Jason

Aniket said...

Thats was very touching Jason.
It made me call my dad to just say HI. I do talk to him and family every alternate day...but reading this post reminded how he still longed to be there to solve all my worries.

Long time that I visited home. I should plan a trip soon.

Lovely post indeed.

the walking man said...

The theory is that at or about, the age of twelve human years; them known to the human race as "children" prove that at some point in our ancient human past aliens mated with the humans and mingled their DNA with our own.

Yes teenagers are the proof of this. The changes are otherworldly and could only come from off planet.

Teenagers prove that we are not alone in the cosmos.

Catvibe said...

Jason-Ok, this is starting to really freak me out. Add you to the list of recent blogging psychicasmia, I was just working this song out on the piano last week and I have a friend who witnessed that who can verify and vouch for that. In my case, I think it was for different reasons, not teenagers this time. Possibly a psychic message from my friend Kamela the tea worker who I posted about on Friday. Possibly because I am having every single relationship issue I've ever known (and already know what those are) come popping up into my psyche since I am at the very beginning of a new relationship I so want to be healthy in. Possibly because Sting is drop dead gorgeous and was the imaginary father of my children. :-D. Or because he is bipolar too, and THAT has been in my head lately. But teenagers? I think they do send out SOS's, although they wouldn't admit it, and they wouldn't admit to changing either. I don't think they are clear about the fact that they've changed until they are much older than a teenager. Yet another reason why parenting one is hell on earth. But yeah, they do send out SOS's and how to deal with them is a vortex of chaos. I'm so glad my kids and I are beyond those years, and we are all still magically talking, and lovingly too.

Catvibe said...

Not that I'm bipolar by the way, just realized that could be read wrong, but that I've been writing about it.

Sarah Hina said...

The tragedy here is that the father is only seeing what's been lost, and how that impacts on him. The child's silence should have been a wake-up call, and interpreted by the dad as a plea to reach out, dig deeper. Accept.

Powerful use of dialogue, with that one, slashing thought to cling to. I guess he had to rescue himself. But that doesn't staunch the hope that someone else will help.

Charles Gramlich said...

brings back memories of my son passing through teenagehood.

Anonymous said...

Too true of all our teenage years I suspect. That change is part of life and I'm surprised the parent reflecting doesn't realise that. Or maybe it just a regretful observation.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

"Everything changed when you became a teenager."

Wow - that line is a killer.
It's what alienates parents and their children. It breaks my heart that a child would ever have to hear that - even if the parent didn't mean it the way it sounded.

I miss your laugh, smile, what you used to do, how you used to look.
It sends a terrible message.

Most parents miss their "babies," but, we must celebrate every stage of childhood. Let them know how much they are loved and appreciated at every age. What they do, how they look, their beautiful smile, their wonderful mind.. they need to hear that even MORE as a teen than at any other age.

One day, that teenager will be a young man and will move out of the house - then the father will REALLY miss his child.

Great work, as always, Jason.

Karen said...

This is really sad, Jason. In such a short piece, you capture a paradox of human nature -- we miss things (and people) before they're gone. It's too bad we can't live in the NOW. Living there tells us that this time is the most important time, not time spent regretting the loss of the past and not time spent planning for the future.

I can't say it any better than K. said it already, so I echo what she said.

Hoodie said...

Though 3 very small children can be overwhelming and I sometimes wish they didn't need so much from me, I know I will struggle during the times it seems they don't need me at all.

There is no perfect age. But there are wondrous qualities and challenges to each.

Anonymous said...

Linda, I'm glad you felt drawn by the depth behind the words. And thank you very much for the wonderful compliment!

Aniket, I'm touched by the positive way this post inspired you. Bravo!! I'm impressed by your gesture to your father.

Walking Man, I recently heard an interesting theory that in early human culture, once a child reached sexual maturity, he/she left the home. Under that theory, teenage years are full of strife because the teenagers are frustrated with an unnatural situation. They are programmed for independence.

Catvibe, that's intriguing that you are finding such connections with the energies out there, and the fact that so many facets of yourself come into the light when you are starting a new relationship. I hope you find the meanings and guidance you seek. As for raising children, if your adult children feel supported and accepted for who they are and relate to you with positive energy, then you've done very well for yourself and them. :)

Sarah, yes, it's a hammering of hurtful statements, one after the other. It's intriguing that for many this felt like teenage years, when teenage years were only the turning point. Children are adults for a very long time. That's why the adult child relationship is so important to get right.

Charles, I hope you all came out the other side better people for the experience.

Aggie, it's regrettable to prefer the child years to the person a child becomes. Yes.

Kaye, you've captured everything that was poured into this vignette. Your insights are excellent and dead on. Yes, it is a terrible message. But maybe when one finally realizes that fact, the hidden damage can be healed.

Karen, you raise another really vital point. Now is the most important time period. Some people struggle with a tendency to live in the future. Some, like the person in this vignette, have a tendency to long for the past. The wonder of the present is squandered.

Hoodie, I think that the ultimate message is that they will always "need" to be understood and accepted. Maybe even appreciated. But they will not need you to guide their lives...that is true.

Margaret said...

We have to accept the fact that they grow up. But most of all we have to savour every single moment with them. These moments are gone before we realize it.
It's a matter of accepting the change and adjusting to it. Of course, we miss what used to be, but new days - new experiences and still there can be lots of belly laughs :))

Anonymous said...

Margaret, I'm with you. Truly. Isn't the greatest gift helping children to become the best version of the people they were born to be? That requires a step back. That requires us to celebrate what they are. Not to despair for what they aren't.

Catvibe said...

Thanks for your thoughts Jason. The difference between then and now is vision and the ability to untie my tongue and engage in delightful communication. You and Aine have provided more guidance than you probably know, helping to lay some very good groundwork. :-)

I know you're not there yet, but I sense the coming teenage years in your house will be one of the best kind of places to have them.

Vesper said...

Oh, Jason, it's so difficult for both the ones who "stay" behind and the ones who "leave" into their budding lives... You capture well these mixed feelings.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Catvibe and Vesper. :)