I have to admit there have been times when I’ve stopped in my own tracks, dead still, heart almost stopped, cold and in a panic of remorse and dread thinking of something I did in the past. Then I close my eyes, take a deep breath and wonder who the Hell was that person I was a long time ago. She doesn’t exist, or at least not in that form.
Chocolate starts out as bitter dust but then one adds sugar or spices to become a sweet temptation or a wonderful mole. Then again, that is too easy of an analogy for Vampires, and Regular Humans for that matter. We’re not something to be merely spiced up. In fact, sometimes spicing up will only do damage and make something wonderful taste bad (or something bad taste even worse). The same goes for adding too much sugar.
I’ve been helping out some fellow Vampires lately – those who are new at being Vampires and those who are adjusting to the modern world we all share – that is what I do. Long story – but I’m fairly good at it.
My young Vampire friend Cody has done remarkably well. He and his ex-girlfriend became Vampires about two years ago. He made it through the change quite well both physically and emotionally. She, unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, not so well.
But things were not always so easy. Cody has a tremendous support system and has been given all the resources and training a new Vampire could every want or imagine. It saved his life and he can respect that.
Unfortunately not all new Vampires can adjust to the change, especially if it wasn’t their choice.
I wanted Cody to meet Matthew, a very old Vampire who has had to recently come into the Modern Vampire world. As we waited for Cody to arrive Matthew and I talked in quiet tones, close as Vampires do.
One can’t live in old castles and in the dark corners or shadows when one has a teenager. Matthew was an old fashioned Vampire with a Modern Vampire son. This happens a lot. Not just with Vampires but with all sorts of people. Maybe not as much as in the 1960’s and 70’s (I’m just thinking about recent history you all might remember) but it happens. The world is constantly changing and it is always a challenge to parents.
Today was one of those “stop in your tracks” kind of days for Matthew, the old fashioned Vampire who was trying to be a Modern Vampire. On the surface he could pass for any 30 something guy who dressed better than average and looked a little more appealing than average. Underneath he was a creature of darkness and cold, who’d lived that past few centuries more or less hiding out, lurking in the shadows, seeing the people who live in the light of day as both prey and predator.
When one who was born with a gentle soul is violently made to change into something that goes against the knowledge of everything they’ve ever known to be true, it takes a while getting used to. Stress and trauma can last for years.
Sometimes we must put aside what happened and move forward. Easier said than done. But we can’t let the trauma define us or enslave us or rule us. We accept it and move on – evolve to something new – something better – something stronger.
Like I just said, it is easier for me to write those words than to snap my fingers and make it happen. One can’t just say, “get over it” to someone and expect it to be a one size fits all answer for everything. That is just mean and often shows a total lack of understanding.
So back to my Vampires, for I do consider them mine, for that is what I do. I help Vampires who need help adjusting to new situations. New Vampires learning the ropes or old Vampires who wish to become more Modern. It isn’t easy – but it can be interesting and rewarding and a chance to discover one’s self. It is a chance to start over. It is an opportunity to clean out the cobwebs that clog one’s brain and heart.
Matthew is doing his best not to brood. Vampires are good at brooding – really good. But brooding isn’t productive or positive especially if one is a parent. Sorry to all of you brooders out there, but in my humble opinion (ok, not so humble) parents should not brood. And easy way to remember that is “don’t brood over your brood.”
But I’m getting off subject and don’t really even remember what I was going to write about much less a subject (so I’ll call it musings). Anyway…
Matthew talked of his son, born a Vampire, now without a mother, in a new town, a new school and 16 years old. Josh was such a typical Modern Vampire teen that I had to congratulate the awkward Matthew for doing such a good job. Matthew was definitely a master at what I call Deliberate Parenting – that is thinking about how you parent and how your child will fare in the world because of that.
The old Vampire Matthew had issues with his own life but he didn’t want to pass those issues on to his son. He wanted his son to be strong and successful and most of all happy.
We talked quietly, Matthew and I. It was the little things that he could relate to. He smiled when I told him Cody was getting romantically involved with my Grandmamma Lola (much to my chagrin.) Matthew had known Lola years ago, hundreds of years ago, before the Modern Vampire Movement. Anyway, we spoke of a lot of things and eventually I could see the cobwebs and shadows that covered his eyes start to vanish, especially when we spoke about his son Josh.
“I can sometimes remember before I was a Vampires,” Matthew began. “I wasn’t always the kind of person I want my son to be. I thought this was my punishment until I met Josh’s mother. She was so strong and wanted for both of us to make a new start through our own child. It seemed so unrealistic, but we were determined to be good parents and the kind of parents…” He looked away, unable to finish. I took his cold hand in mine.
“You’re a good father Matthew. You’re one of the best. Josh is a great kid.”
He squeezed my hand, just slightly, I could feel his heart speed up just a bit, from almost stopped to slow and steady.
So when it all comes down to it, our kids live now, and so we need to appreciate their world and help guide them into the future. For our children are the future – not only our future, but more so theirs.
And since the future belongs to all of us, we can put away any ghosts of our personal pasts that haunt us. For the moon shines bright on those who love, and learn and evolve and hope.
So today – go hug your kids, your friends, your parents, your cats…your Vampires.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman