It had been an interesting supper hour with my son. Last week we were on a day of errands together and decided to stop for a nice meal at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. Good food, pleasant atmosphere, and rather one subject leading to another from conversations that had been going on during much of our car trip that day.
My son is now 31 years old. He has been observing me, therefore, for a very long time. He has gone through many years of growth, experiencing me as a child, a youth, and now a young and maturing man.
He is a unique soul, with his own take on the world, people, and spiritual matters. He is so singular in many areas, that his teachers finally defined one of his habits as “well, he’s doing it in ‘Zach-time’” which is because Zach has one speed--HIS speed. And whether you want him to snap it up, hurry along, work as quickly as possible--well, he’s going to be doing it in Zach time and you might has well cool your jets or risk an aneurism, because you can bet Zach’s not going to move faster for all your persuasions, threats or cajoling--if anything you may well slow him up.
One other thing about Zachery, are his opinions of his father, brother, and mother. And, naturally, I am rather invested in the subject of his opinions of his mother. Even when I feel I want to correct something he’s said, or relate something I think will influence his thinking--you know, Paul Harvey’s “the rest of the story”--often I’ve learned to just shut my mouth and listen. I can learn a lot and have learned to change some things thanks to listening to him.
Now I’m not saying I agree with all of his opinions and observations of me. However, just realizing he has these ideas about me, and listening to what he has observed that brought him to these assumptions about me, HAS helped me. If he is coming to these ideas about me, then probably others react to me sometimes in similar ways. And if I don’t like what I’m hearing, if that is NOT the impression I want others to have about me, then I am grateful for the head’s up and the opportunity to change.
Of course, sometimes what he comes up with amuses me (as in it doesn’t always make my toes curl in my shoes, my hair sockets cramp, and my nerves jangle). One of his continued assessments is that I am a powerful woman. This one always cracks me up. I truly wish he’d been able to express that to me when I was younger. There have been times I felt the world was mopping me up, or people I was attempting to help were walking right over my prostrate body. It would have been so good to know much of the unkindness was based in their “fear” of me. This is Zach’s assessment.
He tells me that when I walk into a room, my very aura says “I’m in charge”. And sometimes others react by immediately stiffening their necks and rejecting anything I say or do, because they’re afraid of my controlling them.
Wow--to think I’ve been wielding that kind of power all these years, and I felt when I walked in a room and slid into a chair at the back of the room, everyone was either NOT noticing me at all, or thinking “who’s the strange little broad with the out-dated clothing?”
Now it’s true, back in my stand-up comedy days, I did a bit on my being Super Woman. However, it was done for comedic affect--as in, those who were looking at me on stage could tell I was anything BUT a super woman. However, my son, who was VERY little when I was doing this bit, says the humor was that I was making a joke out of “the elephant in the room”--everyone KNEW I was Super Woman, and therefore I could make jokes about myself because who was going to challenge Super Woman?
OK, I will admit, my pastor at the time called to tell me he’d gotten a call from his son’s school. Seems his son had told his class that Super Woman went to his church. The teacher tried to explain there was no such person in reality, and if there were, she wouldn’t be going to his church. No dice. He was very adamant. So much so, that it became a brouhaha with his teacher, which got him sent to the principal.
The principal wanted to know what the minister was going to do about it. He told them he wasn’t going to do anything, because Super Woman DID go to his church! I had done my bit for a church teacher’s appreciation dinner the Sunday before, so, of course, their son believed Super Woman did go to his church. After my talk, even some of the deacons offered to put a telephone booth downstairs by the back entryway incase I had to make a quick outfit change and fly off to fight crime!
In the years since my Super Woman era, I think I look less and less like a super hero or person of power. Yet my son sticks to his opinion, his mom is pretty amazing. I really don’t want him to have a false opinion of me--unrealistic. And yet, having your son think you’re extraordinary, singular, accomplished . . . Not such a bad thing, is it?
He does feel, as I age, I’m losing some ground. Some of my super powers are slipping. He feels by the time I’m ready for the old folks home I’ll be “ordinary”, maybe even fall to the state of “average” if I really get old old. Guess I can live with that. Just wish I’d known when I was younger that I was so powerful--I’d have done things differently!