Excerpt #3 There’s a Basketball on My BuffetWisdom and rap gangsters

My son will be twenty-one in a week and I realize my time is running out. I’ve been busy being other things, and now it’s time to be wise and thoughtful. There’s a limited time left to bestow sage thoughts and the important pronouncements he’ll remember when I’m gone.
I spent some time reading wise things and thinking wise things, and I planned to begin being wise yesterday. Yesterday seemed like a good day, because I felt prepared. I wasn’t prepared for his new short hair cut. His very short haircut. His military at-least-we’ll-be-able-to-see-the-lice kind of short haircut. His your
mother-doesn’t-care-a-fig-about-you-and-she-dresses-you-funny kind of short hair cut. Yesterday, my beloved son came home with that hair cut.
“Why are you looking at me like that, ma?”
My brain immediately attempts to rationalize, minimalize and manage the deep fear, the unexplained anxiety that is catching in my stomach. How can this child be mine? He looks like a thug. He looks like a rap gangster. Hair will grow back, I rationalize. I search for wise words. I say:
“Honey, you look like the kind of kid who kicks puppies.”
I will start saying wise things tomorrow.

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