By Karen Gordon


Confession: I struggle with religion, the perks and the baggage that comes along with it. I’ve never struggled before because I’ve always been comfortable in the knowledge that there’s something bigger than all of us… something watching, waiting and keeping us safe from harm.

But, as I continue to meet new and different people, I welcome diverse opinions so the struggle continues and intensifies. My husband is very conservative and I’m liberal. It is true that opposites attract, but nobody ever told me that I would have to bite my tongue this much. Sheesh!

Dad (a.k.a. Bossman) recently took The Scoot to a birthday party. It was cool and they had a great time at Chuck E Cheese (translation: no skirmish). Great! Wonderful! Cool!

The next day, all Scoot could talk about was what he wanted for HIS birthday. He turns nine in January and he is getting started early SO turns out Scoot wants a Jesus-themed party. He requested an inflatable Jesus in the front yard and another in the backyard. SAYWHAAAAAT?! Yes-a Jesus party! WHAT KID actually wants a Jesus party? Apparently, Scooter.

Now… Scooter continued in detail what he wanted for his Jesus party, but I stopped listening  because there was no win for me in this situation. I have some deep-seated issues with the Church and I’ve just gotta work through them. There are a couple of ways to look at this, but no compromise. One would work only for me and the other would only work only for Bossman. I would insist that Jesus be black, with hair in locks and that there be a communal table with cheese, bread and water turned into wine. Bossman would probably insist that we have a petting zoo of sorts with animals, maybe a stable or an ark, a Virgin Mary or a flood.

But, perhaps we could compromise… between all of our artist friends, we could construct a great experience for Scoot which would satisfy him AND his parents without being too creepy. I’m up for it and we’ll be sure to send pics.


On another note: In my previous column, I shared some pretty heavy thoughts about my relationship with my adult sons with respect to our family dynamic. I submitted it way after deadline, but asked Renee if she would consider publishing it if time permitted. She called, we discussed and she agreed to submit it for publication. But…we mostly talked about our boys.  We talked about how cantankerous, frustrating, thankless and unforgiving some days could be but how even then, it’s a beautiful process  in which we learn new things about our children and (if we allow it) we learn new things about ourselves too.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Renee’s son Zakk. I never got to hear his music but  I’ll never forget where I was when I heard about the accident. It was Thursday, September 14 at approximately 11:00 p.m. when I was told  that it was Renee’s children that were in that car and I heard Zakk’s prognosis. The entirety of that conversation flooded my memory and haunted my thoughts for weeks afterward.

There are no words to express my thoughts. I can’t imagine losing a child. At the risk of being cliché-ish, please do tell your loved ones they are loved. Keep in touch with friends and show kindness to strangers. Tomorrow is not promised.

Out on the ocean sailing away

I can hardly wait to see you come of age

But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient

‘Cause it’s a long way to go, a hard row to hoe

Yes, it’s a long way to go

“Beautiful Boy” John Lennon

Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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