Posted by: zhak39 | May 25, 2008

On Becoming

“When I gauge my ears or find a new piercing, I feel like I am becoming on the outside what I know I am on the inside,” Chris says.

“Tell me what that means,” I say.

“It’s like there is another me on the inside, like someone invisible that walks beside me. It’s like my future me, the person that I am meant to be. It’s like I have always known that this is who I am going to be and it’s who I am becoming.”

I say to my husband, “it’s not about what you or I think is attractive or presentable. We have a say, we have authority but it’s based on health and safety. It’s safeguarding him as he takes on responsibility for himself. We are guides in his process of growing up. The foundation was laid years ago. We are the scaffold. We support him to the extent he needs as he builds himself then we remove ourselves so that he can stand on his own. Our questions are about harm and health. Our job is to teach him the process of making decisions, not to decide for him.”

What I don’t know, what I can’t know is if piercing is a fad for him or if he is truly connecting with his authentic self. Should I oppose him because he wants to alter his looks in a way that may leave a permanent scar?

What I do know is that parents leave eternal marks on the souls of their children. No superficial mark is as indelible as the scars left by neglect or disdain or malice. The keystone is active informed unconditional love.

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