Kaher

Many years ago when flying home from a work trip, I found myself sitting next to a young boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old.  In my thirties and adrift in San Francisco, I had very little exposure to children of any age, and while that infernal clock was pushing me towards pregnancy and birth, I had no interest in becoming a mother.  I heard you loved your own, thank god –  I was counting on that –  but as to other people’s children . . . not my thing.  So I buried my head in my magazine and assumed my young seat-mate would do the same in his Nintendo DS or GameBoy or Xstation or whatever gadget he had.  *insert curmudgeonly shrug*  Before leaving the gate however, this kid started up with me:

“What is your name?”

“Lisa.  What’s yours?”

“Kaher.  Do you drink beer?”

“Yes.  Sometimes.”

“I will not drink beer.”

“Oh … well…”

“Drinking beer is bad.”

“Yes, sometimes.”

“Do you have a husband?”

“No, I have a boyfriend.”

“You should get married.”

“…uh …”

I will get married.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because you’re SUPPOSED to get married and have children.”  He rolls his eyes.

I looked away and smiled.  I couldn’t help myself what with his rapid-fire curiosity and simultaneous dissing of my lifestyle choices.  It was sort of charming.  He was very serious about his interview though, and I, admittedly, was flattered to be his subject.  I put my magazine down and gave him my full attention.  Just then the flight attendant came through and asked for our drink orders.  Kaher ordered for himself and then for his father who sat silently across the aisle.  Then his interrogation continued, peppered with tips on how to master this game he was playing.  Not that he let me play it – oh no no – but he insisted I watch as he showed me how to race the car through all these checkpoints and the faster you drove the more money you’d collect.  The money part was important, so of course . . .

“You’re not married so you must work.  How much money do you make?”

“Jeez kid – I make enough money to pay my bills and drink some beer.”

“When I have a job I’m gonna make A LOT of money.”

“What do you need so much money for?”

Rolling his eyes, “To buy cars! To buy houses! To get a wife!”

The beverage cart finally made its way to our row and before claiming his own, Kaher stretched across the aisle and opened his father’s soda.  I saw then that his father was paralyzed on one side of his body.  I suddenly realized Kaher was his father’s voice and hands.  I looked down at this child and I saw a young man.  A man as true as the boy was curious.  A man as brave as the boy was outspoken.  A man as kind as the boy was charming.  And for the first time in my life, awash in pride and wonder over this child I just met, I saw myself as a mother and I wanted it very, very much.

My son Arlo and I on a flight, many years later.

 

 † Edited for Listen To Your Mother, May, 2014

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15 thoughts on “Kaher

  1. Reblogged this on stepping my way to bliss and commented:
    I would like to make an introduction. Please meet my friend, Lisa, through this post I have reblogged. She is a new voice in the world of blogging and one that should be heard.

    Lisa and I go back to Middle School where we became best friends in 8th grade. We had a blast together, having many of the same classes and shared experiences. Graduation took us in different directions but she always stayed in my heart. Many years after High School we reconnected and have enjoyed our friendship anew–through marriages, children, living abroad (her—my life is the less exciting one), traveling, etc. but we have done so almost entirely through letters and emails. We have had the rare privilege of visiting in person but only every few years or so. But it doesn’t seem to matter…the time and space…because we continue to share a special bond.

    A few years ago, when she was still living in Bermuda, Facebook became the new way of “keeping in touch”. She took to it like a duck to water…me, not so much. I trepidatiously went the blogging route instead. Well, now, she has too…although she is still proudly a FB junkie. : )

    The subject of her blog will resonate with many women who are in their child-bearing years because Lisa is choosing to write–to share–her experiences with infertility. She has been blessed with one child and is in the process of trying to conceive again. Given the example of her writing above, I believe she is going to be an honest and poignant voice about her experiences…and yet, through it all, you will not miss her humor, wit and passion for life.
    Welcome to blogging, my friend. Enjoy the ride.

    ~~Mistress Bliss~~

    Like

  2. Lovely post. Most of the time when I see young boys I want to lock them all in a closet until they are 30 (I have no children, by the way), but every now and then one sees an example that makes one think they really are quite nice creatures with loads of potential. I hope Kaher grew up to fulfill all that marvelous potential you could see in him.

    Like

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