California

The Magic of Possibility

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I told my son that if he didn’t like salsa by the time he turned ten, I would disown him. He spent a lot of his ninth year trying various salsa and even developing his own salsa recipe.

He knows how serious the salsa issue is for me.

But really this isn’t about his liking or not liking spicy foods. It’s about looking for signs of my personality or signs of his father’s personality in my son. The proverbial question “who are you most like, your mother or father?” is a constant game we play in my family. I’m not keeping score, but if I did, team “you’re just like your mother” is clearly in the lead. Often to his father’s annoyance.

My son and I have a million questions a second.
My son and I don’t sleep well.
My son and I are annoying know it alls.
My son and I can get so immersed in a book that we aren’t aware of anything around us to the point of rudeness.
My son and I can’t pack light.

Sometimes I envy those people who can magically throw a toothbrush and a clean pair of underwear into their purse/bag and be fine for the weekend. Not so with me or my son.

We need things. We need our blankets. We need our water bottles. We need a selection of books. And then we need a bunch of random crap that may or may not be vital to have: wine key, glow-in-the-dark yoyo, string, knife tool, goggles, pens, notebooks, stickers, chapstick, a Mason jar, a rubber snake. Nine times out of ten, the random crap just sits in the bottom of our bags, unused and taking up way too much space for an overnight trip. But then there is that one time–that one magical time–when random crap is called for and then little toothbrush/underwear person is SOL whereas my son and I reach into our Mary Poppins bag and VOILA! we save the day.

It’s the possibility of the random crap’s use that is so magical to us. The potential of something unexpected happening that turns into an adventure because we were prepared. If you think that anything can happen even on a short walk to your friend’s house for a single night’s sleepover–if there is a real possibility of a vortex opening on the way to the grocery store transporting you far into time and space–if potentially an afternoon outing can lead to a red-eye to South America, then you’d pack accordingly too (or at least you’d carry a towel).

Plus you never know when people might get boring and you’ll need that glowing yoyo to entertain yourself.

My son sees possibility. It’s part of his magic. It’s part of his curse.
I know because it’s mine too.

Sure it would be easier for my son if he could move through life a bit more streamlined–less baggage on his back–but then he wouldn’t be prepared for the adventure of a future where anything is possible.

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