Benediction to My Beloved Son on His Leaving Our Home

fear not, son. seriously.

Son, I’m writing you this letter with a heart overfull of love, but the spirit of the message is cautionary. When you walk out into this grand edifice of spun glass and gold, this kaleidoscopic wonder of a world, there will be traps and deceit and frightening episodes, and highways and byways you won’t understand and which you will unwittingly travel at your peril. Your mother and I love you very very much and want to do everything we can to brace you for a world you likely have yet to fully imagine. We do not want you to go forth ungirded; the life you have lived in our home may not have fully prepared you for what you will find out there. Take this note with you, this benediction, and find solace in what you learn here. Refer to it often as you make your way. We want to warn you that there will be a fearsome ball of blazing fire in the sky. Relax, it’s only the sun. And there may be some disturbing movement of the air about your face and neck and other exposed parts. This is a ‘breeze’. Once when we dared to open your bedroom window a centimeter your blackout curtains were seen to rustle almost imperceptibly. This ‘breeze’ is that which so frightened you that afternoon. It can’t hurt you. The hulking, hungry-eyed beasts that prowl and roar and screech, those are ‘cars’, unthinking machines built by human hands to convey one from A to B. ‘A to B’ refers to letters in our alphabet. Alphabet is a kind of soup. Those towering things that gently wave and toss in the sunstruck elements are not broccoli, as you once suspected. They are ‘trees’. They can’t hurt you unless you try to climb one. I think that particular danger needn’t trouble you, son. Those hideous shrieks and cries that may compel you to run and scream with your hands over your ears, those are birds and frogs and doggies and bugs and other harmless citizens of the out-of-doors. Reminder: it is not cool to pepper spray a cricket. I’m still trying to explain to the neighbor exactly what went down that Saturday a month ago. Difficult. Your Xbox® controller can’t help you out there, dear young man. I’ve seen you furiously mashing buttons while standing in the middle of traffic and I have feared for you. But now is your time and we must release you to your Life, to your Destiny. Fear not. Go boldly forward. The world is your oyster. An oyster is a shelled creature with – aww screw it.

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