Carving a Square Hole

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I ache for you, my son.

What will the future hold for 

a square peg who refuses to be

contained, boxed, categorised?

Each question feels like an interrogation

How could I not have 

done more, been more, anticipated this? 

And why is your refusal to conform

felt by me as if it were my own collapse? 

Strangely you shrug it all off

as if you know something I don’t.

You beckon me to follow

to a place where freedom is not 

found in the constraints of others. 

I had been dreading this appointment for some time. Hudson is anything but ‘normal’ in the best of ways – his smile has the wattage to light the entire room, and his antics can stop even the most stern reprimand mid-sentence. A request as simple as counting to ten is met with an eye roll and complete disinterest. I have no doubt that his mind is quick – as long as the prerequisite of fascination is met – but for any task that requires rote or repetition, forget about it.

The test began. I fluctuated between humour and shame as I watched. Sitting silently, flashing forward to school years, picturing a future of frustration for all of us. Hudson was his charming self throughout it all, but his force of personality was unable to cover a distinct lack in his learning. We left with multiple referrals, each page a visceral signpost of my inability to transfer knowledge and skills to my child.

I am the eldest child. Eager to please, happy to fulfil external obligations, driven to succeed. I thrive on challenge, rote learning and textbooks. Hudson is the counter to me, it seems. Incessantly following the beat of his own heart – to the nearest technology in the room. He is happiest when surrounded by cords – headphones in, computer out, music on loud.

There is much that I admire in Hudson. Much that I strive to emulate, to pull me out of my rigidity and often colourless way of viewing the world. The names of the colours may escape him, but Hudson’s lived experience is filled to the brim with glowing and vivid hues. He is given to the moment, pursuing his desires, unashamed of wanting.

We may have a long road ahead of us, but I’m trying to put it in perspective. The world actually needs more ‘Hudsons’. He may not thrive in the bounds of the schooling system, but if he can harness that incredible energy, I have no doubt that he will create beauty in this universe.

May we be ever your biggest supporters my exuberant, unique son.

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