Z has to practice his cello. But he just wants to talk about how he can’t practice. I’m like, “Just fucking practice, just pick up the cello and practice. You can’t do anything until you practice.”
I’ve been writing about my life with my kids for twenty years, but how can I keep doing it when he tells me he can’t practice becausehe can’t hear? It’s not interesting to read about someone else’s kids unless it’s about conflict. But this is not a conflict. Because Z thinks his whole life is over. That’s like the conflict of is there a God or is there not? It’s such a big conflict that it’s an absurd thing to write about.
So I don’t just have the problem of dealing withmaking very large paymentson a cello that my kid can’t totally play, or the problem that we havea lawsuit with Uberthat is taking so long that I’ll probably be dead before Z sees the settlement. And you never want to have a homeschooled kid who getsa severe brain injurybecause then you have neurologists asking about your teaching philosophy like you’re some sort of religious nut who is refusing life-saving medicine. I don’t just have these problems. I also have the problem that the only way I know how to cope with my life is to write about it, and I’ve got a kid who is on the edge and it’s very difficult to write about that.
科学告诉我们，可以预见的是，我会有一个残骸的孩子，科学也告诉我们，我仍然会找到一种方法来实现这一切，but how am I going to write about this?Because I am passionate. Because being passionate is messed up. That’s right. First of all, like all things that are mental disasters, it’s much more common in men. Really.Passion is not a thing women do. Becausepassion is intrinsically all-consumingand things that are all-consuming搞砸了一切in your life. So, let’s see, which gender is most likely to let their passion ruin all their relationships?
Okay. See? Now you get it. Now you can see where I’m going with this, right? It’s an autistic trait to be a woman who is passionate about something to the point that she lets it create imbalance in her life.
SoI am a woman who functions more like a man. Which is whymost people hate me, but also think I’m interesting as long as they don’t have to spend more than a few hours with me. Maybe no more than one hour if I’m drinking, because who wants to see someone who is already a little too uppity lose their ability to filter? Andas a woman/man I have extreme passionand that meansI have to write thingsin order to feel like it happened.
I tell Z,you don’t have to be the world’s best cellist.Andit’s fine to play cello because you love it.
Z says to me, “Mom, you played professional beach volleyball, you write books, you keep doing more startups. How are you talking to me about it’s okay to not be the best?”
I say, “That is so stupid. I failed at everything. I didn’t get to the Olympics. No one cares about my books. And we are not millionaires. Nothing was amazing.”
He says, “You’re just saying that to make me feel better.”
“Fuck it. Shut up.”
I used to say something nicer and more supportive at that point, but we have the conversation so often. I’ve shown himall the data about harmonious (mini)passion vs obsessive (extreme) passion.People who havecontrolled ambitionsspendreasonable amounts of timeon their passion. These people arecalm and stillwhen they do something that makes them happy. “Just play music you like and get better at cello at the pace of a normal kid.”
He doesn’t want to be normal. He wanted to be a cello god. I get it.I once harbored a visionof being a god of writing about my life with my kids without having to actually do the normal parenting part.
Now I’m always trying to figure outdoes he need to sleep, or does he just want to sleep because he wants to sleep for the rest of his life? Is it easier to let him sleep and worryhe is sleeping too muchor wake him up and worry I am not respecting his need to sleep? Wait. The point is not to make my life easier.
Z keeps asking me what is the point of life. I used to choose words carefully. Now when he asks me what’s the point of life I’m like, fuck it, get out of bed. There is no point. The point is to get up and to keep getting up. I know you are supposed to say something better, with a better tone. But we’re on the second year of this, okay?
WhenI was dating after my divorceI knewI was in troublebecauseI wouldn’t date anyone who wouldn’t let me write about them. I realized I love writing so much that I love it more than a relationship. It was so easy for me to connect with Z when he wanted to practice cello eight hours a day so he could attain anextreme level of success.
现在我们花时间在一起寻找音乐n’t have high notes that will hurt his head. And he picks pieces that are definitely not next in line on the pedagogical repertoire. This would be chaos for that level of passion he had. But right now he is trying to function like a normal cello student who is trying to learn to play for fun. And I am trying to function as a normal parent who is trying to learn to do something, anything, for fun.
After a few days we slip back to our old ways. He is playing complex music that needs counting that gives him a migraine. He throws himself on his bed and kicks his feet and pounds his fists into his pillow.
I sit next to him and rub his back while he mumbles things too scary for full sentences.
I say, “I love you so much. Please stay with me, because I only want to write if I can write about people I love.”
He says, “Thanks for finally understanding that I’m only gonna play cello if I can play music I love.”
他闭上眼睛,我把我的头在他的背上nd he falls asleep on his pillow and I am so careful to stay calm and still. Just like when I held him when he was a baby and if I moved even a little bit he would wake up and I’d have to start all over again.