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Running Away or Standing Your Ground?

This week, my young son reached a few milestones to mark his maturity. While remembering to pick up his clothes from the bathroom floor was not among them, he’s demonstrated several ways that he’s actually been paying attention to the lessons life and parents have been throwing at him.

Then he met Gabrielle.

Gabrielle’s meddlesome great-grandmother has been trying to get the two tweens together, finally she succeeded, by inviting our son to a family party where she would be present. Gabrielle (a tender 12 years of age) is a pretty, auburn-haired, “highly energetic” (our son’s words) student of karate and judo, fully immersed in popular culture, with a well-worn ever-present phone in hand and an older brother who I suspect enjoys harassing her in various ways (as my brother did to me, and countless older brothers have done to younger sisters since time immemorial). While they all had a good time, things have taken a bit of a turn. The reversed Queen of Swords has made her appearance, and the phone has not stopped ringing since. For all her charm, the girl is quite persistent with her affections, and even the older brother is getting involved, trying to manipulate the situation, likely for his own entertainment. Meanwhile, our son is starting to understand what “having a girlfriend” entails. He wants no part of it, but “being friends first” is not in Gabrielle’s arsenal of tactics. She’s quite literally heels over head, and determined to get what she wants. The Queen is speaking eloquently!

I’ve been watching this develop with keen interest, proud of the boy for being kind while trying to figure out how to protect his personal space. The Page of Swords captures the stance beautifully: holding his principles high, guarding his heart from an onslaught of demands for ownership, turning away from the drama and keeping his eyes focused on an ideal that holds some promise for his future.

He has no illusions about his own readiness to be in an amorous relationship (at 13, he says confidently that he is “not ready to be married”). Yet he’s not running away to cocoon himself in dreams of an unattainable fantasy world. He says that he would rather have a girl as a friend rather than a girlfriend, to get to know and trust each other and have fun, and then see if things develop from there. When I considered The Star in relation to where he is standing today, I see that he isn’t training his sights on some unrealistic paragon of what he would like for his life. Rather, he’s being clear about what would bring him happiness… someone who, like him, is grounded, yet connected to romance in an old-soul sort of way.

We’ll see how things develop, but for now, I feel pretty good about his competence in the matter. Meanwhile, Gabrielle’s grandmother has spoken to both the great-grandma and the girl, and we are enjoying the relative silence of the phone.

I daresay his recent study of the King Arthur legends have left an impression. Chivalry is not dead, if this young man has anything to say about it. Legends are legends precisely because they continue to transmit meaning in our own time. In fact, looking at the week’s cards as a single picture, one could see a young courtier holding aloft the sword of sovereignty given by the Lady of the Lake. Even with regard to this one situation I am witnessing, the cards speak on many levels!

How have the cards been speaking to you this week?

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