The Proverbial Fork… December 26, 2011


Jonathan in Miami

Yes, stick a fork in it. It’s done.

It is normally a proclamation delivered with a bit of dismay and resignation. But this day after Christmas, I present it to you as an affirmation of accomplishment. Well … we may want to change a few details but sometimes the best thing to do is realize that the fat lady has sung, the opera is over and we’ve completed our portion.

I spent the week with my family and friends in Miami, Florida, for Christmas. My son and daughter-in-law have a home down there and are very successful, having acclimated themselves and nearly doing an adequate impersonation of native Floridians. We decided to land there for the holiday, with people coming from all over the US to enjoy fellowship, present-giving and a jittery jaunt down memory lane.

Now understand, I was there when this little entourage was first conceived. Many of the people in the room with me this week learned through my tutelage to speak and even acquaint themselves with the greater glories of bathroom usage. But they are no longer my children. They are grown, mature people with goals and lives of their own, who still, in their magnanimous generosity, decide to include me in their earth passage.

Somewhere along the line you have to stick a fork in it, folks. If I were to spend ten minutes trying to figure out if I agree with everything my friends and family do, or if I feel that their accomplishments are worthy of my retelling to those souls I meet as I journey, as confirmation of my excellent parenting, or if I even think that my opinion carries the weight of importance instead of the burden of intrusion, I am just basically a tottering, old fool, taking too long on my detour to the graveyard.

I made two things clear to my gathered host: I have a life … and they do, too.

Their emotional lives do not completely parallel mine. Each one of them has come into the storehouse of my personality to pick and choose little treasures that they particularly relish, like careful shoppers working their way down a bargain table at Goodwill. Spiritually, they are all in transitions of revelation, no different from billions of human beings who preceded them and, I assume, will follow them. Mentally, they have selected to progress at whatever level they deem necessary, ranging from a deep interest in animals, politics and artistry to movies, books, zombies and vampires.

They are normal.

I did not raise a supernatural lineage, infilled with the anointing of a batch of Holy Spirit parlor tricks. They are people. I only ask one thing from them–do they like people and do they cut people the same slack they give themselves? (Well, I guess that’s two things…) If they do, I will leave them to their journey. After all, I will not stand at the Judgment Day and answer for any one of them, nor they for me.

I enjoyed it thoroughly. As I travel across this country, though, I find aging parents who are trying to still wean their grown children, feeling some sense of worry and responsibility for these fully aged individuals, whom they are still trying to tutor to success. How ridiculous.

They started leaving one-by-one last night and more will leave today, others later on in the week. They will peel off into their lives, probably becoming just as reflective about the experience. For me, I want them to remember three things about spending time in my presence:

1. I love them dearly but no more or less than I love all my brothers and sisters on planet earth.

2. I’m going to give the greatest gift at Christmas that I can–I will stay out of their personal business.

3. If their personal business gets nasty, they can call me any time, night or day, without fear of condemnation or critique.

Merry Christmas, family. And I’m happy that I can stick a fork in it … because it looks like it’s ready to be served.


To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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