Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sometimes They Surprise Me

On Friday, DS#1 comes into my bedroom, flops on the bed and says, "So, what do you think about the flag-burning amendment?"

"I think it's stupid," I reply.

"Thank you," he says.

"Why?" I ask.

"The Senate just passed it. They got the two-thirds vote."

"Well," in my best Teacher's voice, "it still needs to be passed by the House and ratified by two-thirds of the States. (My high school Government teacher would be so proud!) I don't think that will happen."

"But it's still stupid," DS#1 says.

"It is. But after the bombings in London, no one wants to look unpatriotic."

"True." We were quiet for a moment.

"So, will you vote for Hillary?" I ask.

"Well, it depends on who she's running against. There are other women who are more qualified. But if it was a choice between her and say, Pat Buchanan, I'd vote for her."

"Honey, if it's a choice between her and Pat Buchanan, I'm moving to Canada," I reply. He got a good laugh out of that one. Occasionally, I surprise him.

"I saw Hillary on the TV after the London bombings," I say, "talking about how we need to beef up security on our transit systems. I wonder if it's occurred to her that she's a Senator. If she wants more transit security, she can propose a bill. I bet she hasn't taken the subway lately, either."

DS#1 laughed again.

"The other problem with Hillary is that she's like a leopard, trying to hide her spots. She's pretending to be more conservative than she really is," I add.

DS#1 shrugs. "She's a phony. The American people see through that. That's why Kerry wasn't elected."

I'm shocked. He had voted for Kerry but realized he was a phony. Interesting.

DS#1 is 21. He's a college student at our local community college, trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Academic work does not come easily for him and his first two years show it. Lately, he seems to have found some direction and this summer is teaching at the community college's "College for Kids" program. Politically, he's liberal, as many college students are. He thinks Bush is an idiot. He's for gay marriage and abortion, though I haven't asked him if there is a line somewhere. (Two of his cousins were born three weeks early; one was five weeks. That can alter a person's perspective concerning late-term abortions.) He hasn't made the connection yet between the bloated government budget and the amount of taxes taken out of his paycheck. He thinks religion is a waste of time, although he will come to Mass when he knows it's important to me or to the family. I pray for him, that he will let God into his life. I remember St. Monica and St. Augustine, so I ask her and the BVM to watch over my son.

So we argue. A lot. And loudly, as if volume alone will convince the other person of the correctness of our position.

But once in awhile we have moments like this. Moments where I can see that the values that Hubs and I have tried to plant have actually taken root and are growing, despite the onslaught of modern culture and college professors. These moments give me hope that maybe, just maybe, we were good enough parents after all.