We went into a store in Chinatown and my son Nathaniel’s whole being lit up. Knowing that we each get something special when we travel, he knew right away what he wanted. He walked over to the mask section and began to try them on. The one he picked looks like something out of the Mad Max movie. (I’ve never seen it but that’s been a consistent reaction.)
The mask is creepy, pretty scary, super intense – and he proceeded to walk through San Francisco for the rest of the day with it on his face.
I stayed quiet but I was extremely uncomfortable. I kept thinking, “This is so weird. My son is so weird.” I had fleeting analyses running through my mind about why my son wanted and needed to present himself to the world in this way.
At one point he asked us to take a video of him dancing with the mask on. He had been working on a series of dances from the video game Fortnite, the latest of which was called Pop Lock. He also did his own beat boxing as the music. We agreed to do a video and in a very public area we filmed his performance.
I felt a slight shift in my psyche and my body. Hmmmm. He’s being very creative. This is a really cool back drop for his video. I can’t believe my shy son is doing this out in public.
We went into another store so I could buy a hat to combat the San Francisco chill. Nathaniel was at the counter looking at something. I overheard the man at the register say to him, “I like your mask!” The man had a killer smile. When I went up to the register to buy my hat, Nathaniel came to show me something and walked away. The man said to me, “Oh wow, that’s your son? I dig that mask. It’s weird, but it’s cool! You know?”
I said, “Yes!!! I know. That’s EXACTLY the line I’ve been dancing all day.”
The young man ran off to get something he needed to ring up my hat. When he returned Nathaniel joined me again at the register. The man asked where he got the mask and my son responded with a confidence I don’t usually see when he’s talking with a stranger.
As we were wrapping up our transaction the man said to him, “Keep it up, buddy! Keep wearing your mask and doing your thing.”
And as we walked away, I looked back, and while we locked eyes, the man once more broke into a killer smile.
And I knew that he was one of my angels, sent to show me that all is well, and that both my son and I are being held in the light of love when we live in alignment with who we are.
I felt reunited with my core truth. I can’t negate creative expression! I hold creativity in my top five of life values! And hello! We’re even part of a community that by many other people’s standards do very weird creative stuff.
We continued to travel around the city for a few more days. It became an interest for all of us – my son, me, my husband – to film my son doing his dance and his beat boxing with his mask on, in as many cool locations as possible.
But now as I watched him perform, I saw an artist. I saw a boy Claiming his Voice. I noticed that he received many positive responses. And I felt so grateful for my angel. I got the message: All I have to do is support my son to do his thing, and help him recognize when and where he gets the response that he deserves.
And this goes for the rest of us. Be who you are and surround yourself with people who encourage you to do so.
Blessings on your journey of creative self expression! May you know when your angel has come to help carry you forward in light and love.