As usual, Danny and I order our drinks with consideration. A brewmeister himself, my son knows about beer. He is a poet when he speaks of the making, the ingredients, the colors and subtle flavors, the carbonation, the foam, the many and varied containers, the alcohol content, the history of beer-making, and stories behind it all.
As usual, the waitress cards him, though he is nearly 25; I tease him that he no longer looks 12 years old, he's moved up to 15. "It's 'cause I shaved this morning," he laughs, stroking his nearly bare chin, "all ten hairs!" When his beer and my cider arrive, we toast one another with pleasure. It's a rare day together, and we both know it and cherish it.
After an intense conversation about the state of our country and the world, governments and leaders, pope and money, religion and creeds, Danny concludes by telling me his own personal philosophy: that everything is connected via the planet, our bodies, and the cosmos, that we are part of something grand, magnificient, in which religion as we currently define it really does not play a part, the vastness is so much greater than what that word can imagine.
I look at him sitting there, my Classics major, my atheist, my ethical, loving, fiercely honest son who inherited so much of his Esselen/Chumash grandfather, but also so much of his Germanic/English Miller forebears. And I say, "I am so proud to have you as my son."
And Danny looks right at me and replies, "I'm so proud to have you as my mother. You got knocked down, and got right back up."
Just freeze that moment. I'll take it with me to my grave as one of my prize possessions, the kind you CAN take with you. Sometimes parenthood completely blows my mind. How these beings we birthed with so much work and hope and fear and ignorance somehow grow into themselves, into humanness, recognizing their connectedness to the greater whole. What a blessing it is to witness, to be part of that:
Here's to hope.