I have a big son

r.j. kushner
4 min readApr 19, 2024
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

I am a normal guy but I have a big son. He used to be a little son. But now he is big — really big. He is my big son.

There are advantages to having a big son. Sometimes my big son will get me things from high shelves that I cannot reach, like my beloved fireworks. It is a mixed bag, though, because my big son put my beloved fireworks up there in the first place to keep them away from me. My big son doesn’t think I should use my beloved fireworks whenever I want. It can be hard to reason with a big son.

Other times my big son will lift me up and put me on his back and carry me places. I rarely know where my big son is taking me but I do enjoy getting to go outside with my big son. My big son is strong and can travel very long distances without a break. Sometimes I wake up in Aurora, Colorado, and I get to look at a beautiful mountain range as the sun rises. This can be a comforting distraction if you’ve soiled yourself while being carried by your big son.

I get into fights extremely often when I am out in public. I like to cut people in line and criticize what they wear. Sometimes if they have a gun holster I will grab for it and say, “Lemme see that.” I do not fear these people because I know my big son will defend me. People see my big son show up and will almost immediately let go of my throat. Then my big son will carry me away and put me to bed, as I will often be tired.

It hurts my neck to look up at my big son and it hurts my big son’s neck to look down at me. We share a balm called Tiger Balm, which we rub on each other’s necks. I have to use a ladder to apply Tiger Balm to my big son’s big neck. Afterward I will try to sneak the ladder away to reach my beloved fireworks but my big son always stops me. I try to wait until my big son falls asleep so I can sneak but I always fall asleep first due to my large turkey dinners.

Naturally, it can be hard to date when you have a big son. Dates will want you to ask them questions about themselves, but all I want to talk about is my big son. Sometimes — if my date doesn’t join in when I start banging on the table and chanting “Where’s our food? Where’s our food?” — I’ll excuse myself to the restroom to text with my big son. Usually I will text my big son about my beloved fireworks and whether I may see them later, please. If I return from the bathroom and my date is still there I will call my big son to come pick me up. My big son will arrive and pick me up and put me to bed, as I will often be tired. I do not even say goodbye to my date in these instances — the minute my big son comes to the table and picks me up, I am out like a light.

I used to play sports with my big son until my big son broke both of my arms and legs. Now we play sports on the same team. When we play basketball I will sit on my big son’s shoulders. I will also sit on my big son’s shoulders when we play tennis. I will flop around quite a bit up there and sometimes fall asleep. I used to sit on my big son’s shoulders when we played Monopoly until my big son broke both of my arms and legs again.

I try to teach my big son about the way the world works, like how everyone is out to get us all the time and nothing ever goes right. But my big son has my big son’s own ideas. My big son tells me that the universe is all connected by these little strings, and that if we get real quiet and listen, we can hear the strings vibrating, and that’s love. It’s hard to understand what the hell my big son is talking about some of the time.

The truth is, though, I can tell my big son is thinking of leaving. I’ve noticed my big son has started to pick me up and put me on his back less and less. But I guess that’s what a big son does. One minute your big son is carrying you up a hill to see a cool bug, the next minute your big son is sneaking out when he thinks you’re asleep to go away and not come back for longer and longer stretches of time.

The nights my big son is gone take forever and my large turkey dinners don’t much help. Not even the thought of sneaking the ladder out and retrieving my beloved fireworks can lull me to sleep. All I can do on those small, lonely nights is close my eyes tight and try to listen as hard as I can to see if I can hear those strings vibrating. Sometimes, I think I can, even if it’s just a little bit.

“That’s my big son,” I’ll think. “I have a big son.”

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r.j. kushner

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