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4.19.2011

Do we run from life, or towards it?

Change is central to my life. I don't gamble but I risk. I have a clear memory and can look back over my life to any point and see some kind of turmoil or turnover going back to early childhood. Many were by choice, many just happened. As a kid it frightened me until I used it as a way to escape and by the time I reached the age of 20, I looked for it. Just jumping back arbitrarily by 5 year increments tells the tale: 2006 I was on the road doing classroom visits and promoting a novel; 2001 I chaired a million dollar renovation of our town library; 1996 I hired an apprentice and was trying to keep my business alive on a credit card while fighting a community battle to keep our town from turning into a national waste destination; 1991 we moved from Toronto to New Hampshire to start a new life; 1986 I moved in with Tish and her two small children to start a family, me in my 20's taking on an ADD boy and his detached sister without a clue what I was getting into; and so on and so forth. I could pick any other year and get the same result.

Who knows why I inflicted this on myself. I was a boy on the run from myself, living in 24 different places before i was 25, until I became a man who found himself and faced change without running from or to it. And still, like clockwork, some new direction, risk, or need spins my life on a fresh tangents, the latest adventure being the boys moving into our life.

While I wonder what the next throw of the dice may bring for me, I see the same potential meandering and perilous path for Tio and Kit because of their tumultuous lives so far. They have known nothing but change. Tio has lived in 14 different houses in 12 years. He's been abandoned by 2 mothers and changed schools 6 times and he's only in grade six. Kit's story is similar but has wrinkles all its own. What kind of foundation does that lay for their adult lives? How complex will the defenses they build around themselves have to be and will it send them into flight when things get hard?

I've been blogging about the walls that Kit has built and they're nothing compared to what he can hide behind as an adult. We all hide behind layers, some easy to see through and some thicker and sturdier than medieval armor. To a certain extent, we all need some. But trust and a sense of belonging won't come easy to these boys. It's much easier to run than to face your fears.