This is the story of a young man and a young woman who find themselves on opposite sides of a violent conflict. There is a world of darkness and the two individuals have lost their way in life. Will they find their way back to each other?
My story began when my daughter was 10 years old. I remember how small she was during our first visit. I remember her sitting in a corner, watching the adults around her talk. I remember her standing at the bottom of the stairs and listening to us talk.
As I was teaching her, I felt so proud of her intelligence and her ability to stand up for herself. Then all of a sudden, she wanted to join the other girls in the class. She wanted to know the answer to the question “what is the coolest thing about summer?” I had no idea. She said it was cool to wear dresses to go swimming. She wanted to know if it was cool to ride the school bus. She wanted to know the meaning of a word we had just used, “chick.” These are the things my daughter wanted to know during our initial visit.
In our initial conversation, I was very careful to be very professional and not to seem like I was using all of the words I should. I talked with Kenny, our son, for 30 minutes. He was a little different than our son, but not a lot. He had no words that anyone had ever heard, nor did he have any words that anyone could hear. It was not easy teaching him. I was worried about what he would say after I left. I worried, too, how he would feel when I was gone. We talked about how he would feel when she had a new friend and when Kenny had a new friend. Kenny knew I was concerned and worried about his emotions. He knew I would be gone before he knew I was gone. Kenny was a very smart child. I knew that if I didn’t know better, I would think he was very, very immature. I told Kenny to be kind.
I was worried and concerned, too, that our daughter would be hurt during the time I was gone. I was worried that Kenny would lose his best friend and I would lose my best friend. I was worried about Kenny’s feelings. I was worried about Kenny, and my son, and all of us. I am not sure exactly why I was worried or worried, but I am sure I was worried. I kept telling myself, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. If Kenny is smart, he will do the right thing. Kenny, be smart and just be kind.” I tried to keep in my rational mind that the situation would only get worse because I was worried about Kenny. I tried to tell myself that I would not be able to be absent from the house for long periods of time. I tried to try to tell myself that I could be gone for two, three, or four days. I tried to keep in my head all the reasons why Kenny would make the wrong choices, even things like talking to a stranger on the bus.
I kept my rational thoughts hidden beneath the emotions. I was angry with Kenny that he thought his mother didn’t love him enough. I was angry with Kenny that he thought there was a difference between our son and a friend. I was angry with Kenny, even though I knew that he was not a bad boy. I was angry because of the way he looked at me. I was angry because I thought I could make my own choices. I was angry with Kenny for being so stubborn with his emotions. I was angry with Kenny, while he was trying to make a friend, that he made an enemy. I saw the change in Kenny as he was turning from a boy to a man.
There were lots of things that made me angry. Kenny was always smiling and talking, as if he was really happy. Kenny was always playing. He did not care if he ever made a friend because he was too busy playing with his dog and his friend. Kenny was so full of energy. Kenny’s friends were so full of energy. Kenny was so full of energy. The way Kenny spoke made Kenny seem very different from his friends. He seemed so excited, while his friends were always talking and trying to make each other laugh. I could picture the conversation between Kenny and his friends, making fun of each other. I could picture them laughing and making a game out of being really hard to be too. Their jokes were so funny and so cruel. I could imagine them telling each other the most outrageous and horrible things. Kenny was full of energy and happiness. He was always busy doing something.
As we talked, I kept thinking about the things I heard. I kept thinking if I could keep the conversations from my emotions, I would be able to get to the answers that Kenny needed to help him to become a person. I needed to keep my rational mind hidden under the emotions, so that I could keep my rational mind to help Kenny understand and get to the answers he needed to make a friend. I needed Kenny’s emotions to remain hidden until I was able to help him with his emotions.