Trust Me

playground Trust Me

It is pushing 12:30…AM and I am back at the computer again. An empty mug with the remnants of the coffee that I drank earlier stands to my right while a bottle of whiskey guards my left. I took it out with the intention of spiking the coffee but never did get around to it. Headphones cover my ears while I listen to Shlomo Artzi sing Enter My Life and My Longings.

The music reminds me of where I once was and forces me to remember where I am. Later on I’ll listen to Bob Dylan sing Knockin on Heaven’s Door and Lay Lady Lay.

There is a 10.5 year-old boy sleeping in the other room. He is still nervous about this move, uncertain about what it means and suspicious of what I have said. I have spent time trying to comfort and reassure him but he senses that there are things that I don’t say and he is right. There are things happening behind the scenes and he wants to know what is happening. He longs for me to pull back the curtain so that he can see that the wizard is more than a man but doesn’t quite know how to ask so he doesn’t.

But I am his father and I know things so I don’t wait for him to figure it out. I need for him to understand that I have done the best that I can and that he has no reason to fear the future. So I take him aside and ask him to speak with me about the wedding. I remind him that he hated that tie and that he asked me if there was a way to get around wearing it. I told him that there wasn’t but that if he would trust me I could make it more comfortable for him.

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One of the joys of moving is the opportunity it presents to rid yourself of things that just aren’t important or necessary. It is the declutterization of life and something that I should do more frequently. We have had two garage sales and made 1,987,874 trips to Goodwill. It feels good to get rid of the extra baggage and I decide that in many ways this is an opportunity to start over. More things are given away, thrown out or sold- I can’t carry them any farther or longer than I have. Sometime soon I will find a way to declutter my mind. It is time to say goodbye to old ghosts and demons.

Walking through the house is like the proverbial trip down memory lane. I keep finding remnants and relics of a past that no longer exists. There are pictures, videos and memories of people who are no longer part of my life. Some of them are gone because they or I chose to go a different direction and some are enjoying the aptly named dirt nap.

Two of my boxes are filled with old clothes that I have chosen not to part with. I haven’t seen most of these things in years. I stare at an old pair of jeans that certainly don’t fit me now and I smile. These pants could tell more than a few stories. I fold them up and put them back in the box- those stories can wait to be told again at a different time. I am a writer and a dreamer. I am sentimental and nostalgic but today I am focused upon the future so there is no time to listen to the particular echoes of these pants.

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That bottle of whiskey is staring at me and I find myself tempted to grab it in both hands. There is something inviting about it but what I really want is the Glenmorangie that sits in a cabinet not all that far away from me. There is a piece and a part of me that wants to go get liquored up. There is a place that is hollering for help and alcohol sounds like it might help take the edge off. It is not something that I do with any regularity…booze it up that is. But part of me is playing around with the idea. I have intentionally built time into my schedule so that I can pack. I don’t have to be up at 6 AM which is exactly why I won’t take that drink.

All I Ask of You has just come on iTunes and I find my thoughts heading in a different direction. Someone I know is thinking of Emily Rossum singing and places to build a coventreeeeeeeeee.  Not me, I can’t help but think of Mick singing Visions of Paradise. I can’t help but remember and think of….something else. A different time, a different place and a moment that left me transfixed and transformed.

I look up and around the room feeling a bit crazed because I have checked out of this place. It was home but it isn’t any longer. It is just some place that holds my stuff and many good memories but it is a place and that is how I choose to view it. Ok, that is not entirely true because it is more than just a place but it is not mine any longer.

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He looks up at me and says, “daddy, I need your help now.” I smile and tell him to trust me. I bend over and unbutton the top button and instruct him not to pull on the tie. He looks at me quizzically and I explain that if he doesn’t pull on it no one will notice that the button has come undone. He smiles and I point to my feet- I have changed from the tux shoes to my own wingtips. “This is where we pretend we are ninjas and make people see what we want them to see.”

Later on when he tells me that he is not sure about moving I ask him to remember the wedding and he says “you were like a genius” and I laugh. “I wasn’t a genius, but I know a trick or two.” He nods his head and I tell him that if it will all work out just fine. He looks up at me and says, “are you sure?” I nod my head again, “trust me.”

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  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @KimDavies Hi Kim. Children tend to be more resilient than we are. It is one of the many things that make them so very cool. I think that the trick is as you said, to make sure that they feel secure.

    We’re moving because of schools. Timing is not what I wanted it to be, but that is life.

  • KimDavies

    Hi, Jack.

    Kids do trust us to make things better. They just need our reassurance that we follow up on what we say, which is why I am one of those parents who do not make promises I am not sure I could keep. Another good thing about kids is that they are resilient. They bounce back easily from something that they deemed difficult as soon as they see that they are headed for a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, Jack. :) Appreciate knowing more about your life. But, if you don’t mind my asking, what is the reason behind the move? If you are not comfortable telling me here, you could PM or email me. ;)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @MimiMeredith Hi Mimi. If we don’t listen to our children, who will. I can’t stomach the idea of being the parent who always tells the kids to be quiet or won’t make time for them.

    I like the idea of fixing what we can and doing our best with the rest. That sort of thing is hard for me, but I try.

    Those new chapters are exciting, albeit somewhat nervewracking- but that is ok. I didn’t sign up for a ride where the scenery never changes. We do what we can with what we have.

  • http://www.thegoodnessgrows.com/ MimiMeredith

    Hello Jack!What a beautifully shared story. I think the truest Paradise was nothing Mick could envision. I think it is the 10 year old boy who knows his Dad listens well enough to get his worries and his discomforts. And you fix what you can and do the best with the rest. And I think there’s a little bit of paradise in the memories woven into the denim of talking jeans.

    I heard a great statement from a young 20 something who’d been through a horrific personal experience. She said, “The rear view mirror in my car is smaller than my windshield for a reason. It’s important to know what’s behind me, but I don’t get anywhere by only looking back.”

    Here’s to opening new chapters, moving forward, and sashaying through life with displaying confidence to reassure those around us with the hope that it makes it to our core and becomes real.

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com/ bdorman264

    @TheJackB Actually I did; golf Sun morn and tennis Sun night. It was quite the sports weekend………….

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @ace1028 Thank you. This joint is where I vent and record- it is nice to hear that people enjoyed it. I am just using this place as a sort of cyber sandbox.

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @bdorman264 Bill, I don’t know how to take steps- I skip, sashay and saunter but step, nah, I am not any good at that. Didja get any golf in over the weekend?

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @adamsok@BetsyKCross Hi Adam. I am focused on making it work because there isn’t any other choice. I won’t give up and I won’t lie down. But damn sometimes I sure wish that I could. ;)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ TheJackB

    @BetsyKCross That is such a good description, just a few steps ahead of them. Some days I wonder if it is a few steps or just a couple of inches. You are right about the need to be an anchor- that is what I focus on. I am pretty good at it most of the time.

  • ace1028

    This was beautifully written and I thank you for sharing it. With us. With me. I love the memories you haven’t truly shared here. And the way you took us down that path with you. And how beautiful the relationship is between you both. Love it.

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com/ bdorman264

    We try to protect the little ones but sometimes they are much wiser than we give them credit for. Sounds like you are taking that first step to the rest of your life and have plenty of opportunity and challenges ahead of you. Here’s to continue making the memories for they are all a part of life.

  • http://www.sunrisesigns.com/ adamsok

    Wow Jack, talk about multitasking! And I thought I had a lot going on in my life. Everything will be fine, because you will make sure of it! I do have to agree with @BetsyKCross . It’s hard to tell your kids everything will be alright, especially when sometimes you feel like you are just a few steps in front of them. I guess all we can do as parents is lead by example, and do whatever we is necessary to keep our promises.

    Jack, sounds like you’ll be just fine.

    Adam.

  • http://betsycross.blogspot.com/ BetsyKCross

    Crazy, isn’t it that we grown ups do a pretty good job making sure that the little ones believe that everything’ll work out fine? I really feel like a kid who’s just a few steps ahead of them and a couple of feet taller! It feels strange being given that responsibility knowing that I’m not sure of things half the time! But they need an anchor. Someone to walk forward with a smile and an adventurous heart. So I ignore the kid in me and let them be one. It feels right.

    Betsy