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My Son Russell

My son is angry with me and I don't want to lose him to our discussions.

And he doesn’t even like that; the first thing I ever gave him was his name, and he doesn’t like it. He goes by Russ.

Russ & his Mother: JB Collection July 2011

Right now, he is very angry with me. He says that I am always trying to get him into political discussions. I always bring things up that he doesn’t want to talk about. How dare I? He doesn’t care for politics and doesn’t want to discuss it or why he doesn’t care. He has mentioned that he believes in meritocracy, and he believes that anyone who can’t pull themselves up by bootstraps doesn’t deserve anything nice. It’s all blue collar bullshick. And he loves that blue collar ideology.

I’ve brought up politics with him time and time again. It surrounds everything, and since my expertise is health care, it’s even part of the health insurance convo.

Now that I have had some time and space from that argument, I have to say that he is right. I’ll tell you why. He has been on the wrong side of life in so many instances. I am deathly afraid of him being on the wrong side of history. Out of his ignorance, he may make a bad choice and become a Trumper. That would break my heart.

I don’t want to be the person who argues about the same thing repeatedly.

Here is the thing, let me count the ways that he has been a loyal and loving son. There are so many. He made sure that I was always included in his daughter’s life. This was important as my other son’s wife wouldn’t “allow” me to babysit. I had unadulterated access to my granddaughter, who has been my joy for all of her 19 years. But that’s her.

Him – he always calls me. Always. When I moved to Virginia for nine months, he bought an iPod for me, and we played Scrabble often. It was pivotal to fighting off the loneliness that gripped me. He taught me how to save music to the iPod and play it in the Nissan.

Over the years, he never let me go, but it was positive dedication and love that kept him close. I have always been close to him. He is a gift giver, and not $19.99 gifts. An Oriental (thousands$) carpet that I loved became mine for my wedding gift. He always installed all iterations of flooring necessary for my many moves, he always did it for free unless I MADE him take money. No distance was too far; when I lived fifty miles away, I still saw my granddaughter weekly. All because my son Russell was dedicated to his daughter and mother’s relationship. He wanted us to be happy.

We had long intellectual conversations when he was four years old. Once, we were at McDonalds and a man came over and complimented us, saying “what an amazing conversation with this very young man, keep it up.”

He is not the young man anymore; his daughter has graduated high school and is in college.

Cadence & her father Russ March 2022

Russell is a son for the ages. I love him deeply. I must be a better mother for him.

In the meantime, I hope that he can quit getting so angry. It’s a family thing, he has been doing it for years and the family (including me) is tired of being judged.

Being judgmental creates space between you and I. That space gives you the opportunity to justify negative behaviors towards me. I hope that instead you choose my love over all other possibilities.

Russell don’t be alienated from me; loving you is not something that will change.

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