Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the last book I ever read (Buzz Bissinger's Father's Day, excerpt six)

from Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son by Buzz Bissinger:

When you have a child like Zach, you do feel as if you own his life, that he is obligated to reveal whatever he thinks and feels on demand. This belief is understandable because you do literally own him as a result of the court-ordered process of guardianship, in which your child answers questions from the judge with a quiet “yes” and doesn’t fully grasp that he’s giving up every right he has, usually to his parents. Some of those rights must be given up, financial decisions and health decisions and decisions of where to live to make sure he is in the best environment. But it should not equate to the entire loss of his individuality. It was only a moment at a restaurant last night overstocked with banal noise, but Zach cordoned off a part of himself with yellow police tape. The issue of sex was something he did understand, at least on the surface. But the issue also bewildered him and made him nervous and perhaps most of all embarrassed him. By asking me to stop bringing it up, he was telling me not to embarrass him anymore. In his quiet and nonconfrontational way he was asserting himself as a young man, not a man-child to be picked at and forever probed, not to be deprived of trying to make himself whole.

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