Day 84: Gratitude for Luke Woods Lear Jackson

It’s always a little disorienting to know your own son as a man.

I remember him as an infant,
fearless and intense, 
with blue eyes that stopped conversations…

He was a toddler with a Yes and a No and and an experimental swagger that grew up into itself and became…confidence.

He was a skinny young boy, 
insisting I take in his jeans 
till they were so tight he could barely get them on.

He was a seven-year-old with awe-inspiring persistence,
learning to rollerskate without the inborn skill for it. And succeeding!

He was a fourth-grader, a fifth-grader…whatever grade he was in,
he formed friendships for real, with his whole heart, loyal to the last.

He was a teenager with a beautiful, shy, true, good voice
that I accidentally discovered one day, as I overheard
him singing along with a Sting song on the radio.
I was walking by with laundry in my arms
when his secret gift seeped through the closed door
into my ears. “…I’m an Englishman in New York…”

He was a young man when he confessed to me that,
as a child, (when we lived out in the Wyoming sagebrush),
sometimes he couldn’t sleep and he would sneak out
and lie down in the summer night time,
in the middle of Wild Horse Road,
and watch the rich bowl of stars
in their slow passage toward morning.

He was a college kid in art school in England,
and I lost track of who he was, or how he was,
and felt the distance, and worried and wondered…

And now he is a man. 
A grown man in his late thirties,
fully on his feet, 
an entire human inside his eyes.
He’s made great paintings. He has a 
visual voice all his own. It’s sharp and deep.
And it matters. 
He’s woven fifteen years with his wonderful wife.
They’ve created together a deep, wide network of friends.

He is whole, in and of himself.
We have great conversations.
He makes me laugh. Really hard.

He was small and I was tall, 
and he held my index fingers
as I steadied his steps.

It won’t be long before he is tall, and I am small,
his hand at my elbow
as he steadies mine.

I’m a patron of Ninja Writers, and this is part of the Medium Post-a-Day Challenge of blogging for 100 days. (This is Day 84.) If you enjoyed this, please let me know. Comment, or click on the clapping hands at left and give it some love, or share or follow me. And thank you so much for reading.