When I was a little girl, I used to play in the backyard of the old farmhouse in the country where I grew up. My whole world was an acre surrounded by a white fence. My father and I used to look at the different birds that would come to visit us, and he taught me all their names - goldfinch, mud swallow, snipe, robin, sparrow, kildeer, mourning dove, meadowlark. One day, a red-winged blackbird sat on our fence. I think it may have been my father's favorite. He admired the tips of red on its wings. My father showed me how blackbirds look black from far away, but if you got up close, you could see beautiful subtle deep jewel tones of color in them. He taught me that black was the presence of all color and white was the absence.
He told me that many people don't care for blackbirds. Mostly because they are as mean as a bluejay, they are usually very large, and they make a sharp caw instead of a beautiful song like a meadowlark. But if you look at them hard enough to see their colors, they are one of God's very beautiful creatures.
Blackbirds have a bad reputation thanks in part to Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". Just about every depiction of a haunted house or graveyard or Halloween scene shows one. They are ostracized because they are different.
Some days I look at my son and I see a blackbird. There are so many facets to his personality. He is a wild thing, and he is thoughtful. He is intelligent and has a marvelous intellectual curiosity, and he is impatient, stubborn and temperamental. He is a study in contradictions and dichotomy. And I wouldn't have him any other way.
He finds it hard to behave the entire day at school. Now that it is spring, he finds school "borin". He would much rather be playing with swords or light sabres. Pretending to be a spy or sailing off on an adventure.
I'm having a hard time accepting that people just don't always "get" him. He's one of those kids that people either love or hate - there is rarely someone who has come into his orbit who doesn't fall distinctly in one of those camps or the other. My job is to love and accept him unconditionally and try to make him conform to all the rules and regulations that we all live under. There are times that I feel like I have to break his beautiful spirit for him to get along in this world. But I hope that he can eventually channel his boldness into something he loves doing. Whatever that is, I know he will be very successful at it.
This video is for my son.
"Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Take these sunken eyes and learn to see. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free." Lyrics from "Blackbird" by Lennon/McCartney
PS - I changed the settings on comments, and you no longer need to log into Blogger to comment, so that will be much easier. You can even comment anonymously.