Discovery Time

Before my older son started driving his own car, I used to drive my children around a lot. Those times I spent in the car with them were really good times for me. I could listen to music with them and talk to them, my poor “captive audience!” It seems more and more there is never a time when I drive anywhere with the two of them in my car, and I really miss their company and the resultant stories and lessons I used to learn in the car. I accepted eagerly to give my younger son a ride to college in the pouring rain this morning, though the ride was really short, and my passenger being my younger son, the quiet one, I didn’t have high hopes of a lively conversation first thing in the morning.

For some reason and quite unexpectedly, he asked me if any Iranians work at the Alborz Persian Restaurant in Berkeley. I said: “Yes, two young Iranians work there as waiters.” He asked about the kitchen staff and the boss boys. I said I believe them all to be Hispanic. Just thinking about the friendly staff at my favorite hangout in Berkeley, I told him: “And all of those guys are so nice to me all the time……come to think of it, everyone is always very nice to me…..I think I am very lucky!” In his very easy and slow way, he said: “Yes, me, too.”

Something really strange gripped me all of a sudden. My son thinks he is very lucky? Since when? I mean, has he always felt that way or is this something new? Why didn’t I know that he feels lucky? Just to be sure I had heard right, I asked calmly: “Really? You feel you are lucky in life?” He replied: “Yes. I even have a four-leaf clover in my wallet.” There was silence except for the windshield wipers’ sliding across the windshield. My son feels he is lucky and he is superstitious, too?! Why didn’t I know that? I said: “Wow, a four-leaf clover! Where did you get that?” He said: “My Ammeh Nazy gave it to me in Tehran. Would you like to see it?” I said: “Yes, very much, show me tonight.” After he had hurriedly gotten out of the car to run to his class, I started driving the car very slowly, trying to catch up with my feelings.

As mothers, we feel so knowing about our children’s every aspect and characteristic. But past a certain age, there is so much, good or bad, about them which we may not know, leaving room for accidental discoveries about them. All through the day today, I was thinking about my 18-year-old son, with his long, unruly dark hair always in his eyes, with his funny earrings in one ear and the young beard he refuses to shave and trim, and the too big, loose clothing he likes to sport. That guy thinks he is lucky in life and he carries a four-leaf clover in his wallet. All day today, I felt strangely lucky to know that guy.

This blog was originally posted on February 21st here, and CBS’ “Eyes on Blogs” featured it on February 22, 2008.

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