Oct 212014

Brandenburg Gate

When my “bonus son” visits each summer we spend a lot of time talking about everything from international politics to family traits. We tackle new experiences and drag out old family photos.  Since he lives so far away, he’s intrigued by family traits and similarities that crop up without living in the same household — or even on the same continent.  He’s both participant and observer,  trying on ideas and traits before claiming them as his own.

His Dad grew up imprinted with good luck and perfect timing, reinforced by a mother who affirmed it:  “You always land on your feet.” As a result, my partner seems to have spent his whole life expecting good outcomes and is rarely disappointed. His youngest son is intrigued by and attracted to this thought.

[Tweet “”He grew up imprinted with good luck & perfect timing…””]

“I’ll bet they thought I forgot….” said the message that came with the picture at the gate.

When Luis headed back to Berlin, he was asked to take this picture in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Despite the combined pressures of school and sports and social life he managed to get it done. I had forgotten that his aikido instructor asked for this picture… but when we Skyped this week he asked me to share it.

[Tweet “Despite the combined pressures of school, sports & social life he got it done.”]

“I know my friends Ryan and Maggie have their black belt tests and I wanted to share this for good luck.

Maybe they know the Brandenburg Gate has been an important symbol of victory for many years. It’s where we celebrate lots of things — most recently Germany’s reunification. It reminds me of aikido because it symbolizes both strength and of peace.

When I started aikido this past summer, everyone was very kind and helpful to me… but nobody more than Ryan and Maggie. They helped me understand a lot of things about various techniques but, even more important, some things about life. My Dad always says that everyone we meet is a teacher. This summer at the dojo made that very clear to me: there are “official teachers” but we get to learn from everyone. Ryan and Maggie went out of their way to show me the value of hard work, enthusiasm and fun while trying to be the very best I can be. Like the Gate, they represent both peace and strength.”

So, was he a procrastinating teen? Or does he, like his Dad, tend toward perfect timing?

I join him in wishing our friends the best of luck as they attempt this important milestone.

[Tweet “There are “official teachers” but we get to learn from everyone.”]



  9 Responses to “Celebrate at the Gate”

  1. I love the notion of one being “imprinted with good luck and perfect timing!” In fact, I claim to have a love affair with time since everything I do is in perfect time. I sure hope my kids become imprinted with some of my positive affirmations that they carry into adulthood! Awesome post!

  2. What a tender message! I love the line “he grew up imprinted with good luck and perfect timing.” How fortunate for you to get to witness and share in this young man’s journey of self discovery.

    • Thanks. The relationship is an unexpected gift… a perfect example of “If you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans!”

  3. I loved this story and your connection with your “bonus son.” I also love his appreciation for symbols and connection. What a wonderful experience and journey for you both.

  4. Love these collaborative posts with your stepson…how wonderful that you have this loving connection and combining his youthful wisdom with yours Andrea. Blessings

  5. wow! Beautiful story. Love it! I sure would love to sit at your family table and enjoy the conversation and discussions 🙂

  6. Life is all about connections and bonds. Yours and your “bonus” son’s is a beautiful one to learn about. Love the term ‘bonus son’ by the way. How special that must make him feel!

    • Thanks, Candi. It took us a while to figure out how to refer to one another in a manner that reflects the relationship.

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