In these trying times of political strife, climate change, war, famine, and stark inequalities, my son—despite his seizures, erratic behavior and significant disabilities—serves as a great elixir to intermittent despair. When at the hands of badgering, smug know-it-alls (including but not limited to the Poser in Chief), I look to Calvin to soothe, to calm, to remind me what is important and what should simply be let go.
You see, Calvin has no grasp of abstractions, no awareness of the passing of days, no concept of the outside world, of corrupt and greedy players, or liars, or fools. He does not discriminate. He does not hate. He does not manipulate. My boy simply sleeps when he is weary—save the times when drugs and their withdrawal mess with his system—eats when he is hungry, walks when he feels strong, and asks for hugs when he most needs one. Other than the most primal of human instincts, he has no care or worry in the world.
So when the world's atrocities wrench me, and when situations or people bait and irk me, I turn and behold my sweet, handsome, impish, drooly, precious boy. He prompts me to remember what matters most, which is not amassing money or power, impressive homes or fancy cars, attribution or persuasion, aggrandizement or adulation; it is love and kindness, patience and understanding. It is existing to ease another's soul. It is the Zen of living deep and in the moment. It is the art of letting go.