Unscrewing the Inscrutable: This Great Wall of a Boy

Was it really that long ago when he learned to tie his own shoes?

Or walk down a staircase?

Or wave from a height above me, all alone and smiling?

Every day, we have breakfast together.  You know the drill.

Me:  How’s school (that formidable place where so much happens that I know nothing about)?  Him:  Great (or “Fine” or “It’s ok” or “Cool”—- none of it any more meaningful than the other).  And then that would be it.  The usual exchange that could mean anything from he’s too stressed out even for discussion, to he’s too bored to even think about something new to say, to he’s actually in trouble or …something.

How do you know?

I guess that’s really the sticky, tricky part about caring for another human being (whether he’s 12—arguably the most incomprehensible age for a boy—or anywhere before or after).  You NEVER know.  Yet you NEVER stop thinking about that which you’ll never know.

I guess the miserable failure of understanding will not take away the power of history, nor the enchantment of  art, nor the dominion of our greatest dreams, over us.

It certainly does nothing against the tyranny of love.

(All photos taken in Beijing, China)

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  1. Ahh…the joy and the agony of raising a son :-). I remember the night I first met Bommy…when he was all but two! The only “downside” to all this–and it’s not such a great one–is that we are getting old he he.


  2. What a beautifully written and enchanting photo essay about your son. I hope he appreciates it as a young boy today and in the future when he is older.


  3. Beautiful captures of Beijing.


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