He questions absolutely everything. I spend many hours each week listening to my son balk at and attempt to negotiate the terms of our house rules, of life’s rules. He can argue like a seasoned attorney and he sticks to his guns better than a politician on trial. A true rebel, my son enjoys going against the grain.
On a heated Thursday afternoon we were once again toe-to-toe on the amount of time he needed to spend cleaning his room. “Son,” I said with my most authoritative voice. “You will keep picking up this mess until I say it is clean enough.” From the bowels of his dirty clothes pile, he curled his lip and delivered another well-rounded argument. I was impressed even from the opposite side of the battlefield. But enough was enough said my inner grandmother. I dug deep for a call to action. The negotiations had to end. With nothing left to lose, I blurted out my greatest end all yet.
MOM: “Listen up kid...I do not negotiate with terrorists.”
We hung in the moment. Each of us steamed from our respective sides of Mount Laundry. I wondered if we were teetering on the edge of a possible agreement or at least a stalemate. He had the last word of course. All the best rebels do.
SON: “Come on Mom. You have made it pretty obvious that I AM A SLAVE, NOT A TERRORIST. You have all the power... for now.”
Einstein, rebellious, Frost, a rebel of the creed, Parks, Lennon and Jobs all questioned the way of their times and communities. They took their own path, subsequently making unforgettable impacts on humanity.
Here is what I know. My son, a master of the rebel trade, is a game changer in the making. Some day, he will make waves far beyond the comforts of his untidy room. He will conquer mountains that tower over yesterday's Mt. Laundry. He will make a difference.
Cheers to the rebels of this world! Especially the ones we tuck in at night.
For the record, I still do not negotiate with the terrorists in my home.