Well that was quick.
I got a call on Friday informing me that my son had done something pretty awful at school. (Again, I'll withhold so as not to embarrass him.) Kenyatta begged me not to come home. I just couldn't stay. Her own semester starts next week. And I worry about the boy constantly. I'm convinced that if I can keep him from hurting himself for a solid 18 years, he will, someday, in the words of Nas, stampede the globe.
Somewhat related, it's truly shocking how the sins of the father come back in the form of a son. When I was young my parents told me this would happen. There is something the Coates gene that causes kids, when within the sight of the red bricks of school, to basically lose it. In all other environments they are respectful, attentive, kind, curious and compassionate. But put these kids in range of a public school-building and it's straight Mr. Hyde.
And I think I had it the worse. I have (by official count) seven brothers and sisters. There are, among them, an incredible array of childhood challenges. But all of them (except me) graduated from college, and all of them have done pretty well for themselves. My Mom was telling Kenyatta that I was, of them all, the hardest to raise.
Now we're going on at least three generations of this. My Dad dropped out of high school himself. How does a boy who cuts school to go to libraries and museums end up dropping out? I have no idea why it's this way. Laziness is too easy. ADHD doesn't seem right either--it's really only school. Whatever it is it will need the direct attention of someone who's felt it from both sides. Oh well. I got a chapter done. I guess that's good. But fatherhood beats writer-hood every time.
The boy looked at me yesterday and said, "Why did you leave?" He actually felt guilty about me having to come back. I told him that I could not ensure his success, that that really was up to him, that I was his father, not his Lord. Still, I could not accept him struggling, while I was away from my station.