How did I explain to my son the relative fairness of how his friend's dog was taken away, succumbing far too young to cancer? I didn't. He remembered how his cousins' dogs had died, both of them, within a year of one another. We had the talk then. I don't know if it made sense then. I am sure that it didn't make sense to him that his great aunt died the day after we had seen her poolside just down the hill from her retirement condo.
Then someone broke into our house and stole his video game system and the blanket from his bed. A couple of weeks after that, passing hooligans threw rocks at his dog and his house. And his father. At this point, I am grateful that he seems to lack the kernel of Charlie Brown that was deeply embedded in my youth. I sat and glared at the mailbox, expecting it not to be filled with invitations to parties and valentines from that pretty red-headed girl. I groomed that dark cloud over my head, and without any of the peculiar flurry of bad luck that has recently swirled around my son.
Now he has a new challenge. In a parental attempt to make lemonade from lemons, I bought us a pair of tickets to see Green Day at the Fillmore in San Francisco. It was my hope that it would take some of the sting out of the past couple of months. That was before Billie Joe threw a fit onstage in Las Vegas. and bought himself a trip to rehab, leaving us wondering what might happen to those make-good ducats I had so cleverly acquired.
Again, I find myself blessed with a son who has seemingly endless patience and understanding. No stomping about or slamming of doors. Just a sigh and a shrug of resignation. I still have so much left to learn from him.