Father and Son

First of all, let me just say that Mrs. Knightley’s meat lasagna is delicious. Her lasagna contained a perfect proportion of meat, cheese, noodles, herbs, and spices. My stomach never felt so fulfilling. I must have consumed two portions. By the look of her face, she was clearly pleased that I enjoyed her food. I’m also glad I met her. She is warm, kind and down to earth. Mrs. Knighley made me feel welcome in her home and like Tyson, I can be myself around her. She is also very sincere. I am glad to finally meet her because she showed me Tyson’s true character.

Mrs. Knightley and Tyson have a strong and caring mother-son relationship. She spent the whole dinner telling me funny stories about Tyson’s childhood, causing Tyson’s face to constantly turn red. At the same time, she praised him of his various accomplishments like earning a business degree and getting the promotion at JLS. Mrs. Knightley is definitely proud of her son and what he has achieved so far.  Reciprocally, Tyson is very devoted to his mother. Last year, Tyson even convinced her boss to take the week off to spend her birthday in Jamaica. This totally touched my heart!

Mrs. Knighley also did pull me aside to thank me for changing Tyson for the better. She told me that since we became friends and now boyfriend/girlfriend, she noticed the light came back into his eyes.   He started to smile and open up again. He also would not stop talking about me and how my positive spirit encourages him to do better. She is also glad that Tyson finally found someone who is as goal-driven as he is. More importantly, he found someone who he can trust again and care deeply for and not give up on.  Apparently, all that was lost when Tyson’s father walked out on them.

Before they divorced, Tyson and his father shared a close bondage. They enjoyed baseball games together either at Fenway Park or in front of the TV. They spent weekends camping in Merrimack Valley in the summer months. He coached Tyson’s little league team. Tyson truly idolized his father who was a lawyer in a private firm. Though he worked many hours, he would still find time to help Tyson with his homework. His father taught Tyson the importance of a strong work ethic and focus. They also confide with one another.

Unfortunately, Tyson’s parents divorced when Tyson turned 13. His father apparently cheated on his mom with his secretary. They had a secret affair for 10 months behind his mom’s back.  This made me understand why Tyson’s initial behavior was so cold towards me and why he acted against office romances when I started at JLS. He was afraid that he would commit the same bad behavior as his dad did to his mother.

At the same time, Mrs. Knightley felt Tyson took the blame for the divorce. Tyson thought he failed his father despite his mother kept persuading him otherwise. So Tyson took upon himself to take care of both him and his mother.  Although his mother also had a job, Tyson worked tirelessly with his various jobs and school. He managed to get a full scholarship and focused on climbing the career ladder to prove that he can be as successful as his father, which explains his determination on pleasing the higher male authority like Mr. Byrne and Mr.Cogswirth.

Tyson, however, never reconciled with his father nor got over the betrayal. After the divorce, Tyson’s father moved out of Massachusetts with his mistress to Rhode Island. They eventually got married and started a new family. Tyson personally felt his father abandoned him and his mom and forgotten them and decided to replace them with a new family. Though his father tried to reach out to him and persuaded him to visit with his mother’s encouragement, Tyson did not return his messages. Instead, he chose to completely shut his father out of his life.

Mrs. Knighley also noticed Tyson had closed a part of himself up from her and the rest of his friends and family.   He would only talk about school, work  and sports. He acted very business-like, methodical, and gave short answers. Mrs. Knightley thought Tyson was just experiencing   a phase. But this behavior carried on even through college. When she confronted Tyson about this change of behavior, Tyson just shrugged off and stated everything was fine. She tried to get him to talk to a counselor or a therapist but Tyson wouldn’t budge. Since he wasn’t displaying any concerned signs of potentially threatening behavior, Mrs. Knighley let it go.

He did tell her of various challenges and problems he faced at work and school but he never really confided in her as he used to. She even told me that his previous girlfriend, whom he dated since his senior year of college, could not get him to open up either. He didn’t completely isolate himself from the world. He has a tight group of friends, mostly guys, he hung out with on the weekends and taken vacations with. But he never showed his true self.

Overall, Mrs. Knighley made me see Tyson in a different light. Before, I knew Tyson as this hardworking and ambitious colleague. Someone who kept to himself and is a sports junkie. Someone who took a while to come out of his shell and become my friend and now boyfriend. Now, I see him as this devoted son who loves his mother. I understand now why he built that wall in front of me. He was and still is dealing with the disappointment and confusion of his father. Losing his best friend was like a part of him was gone. He was also experiencing betrayal and lost of hope.  This sounds crazy but it made me see him as more human.

After understanding what his dad did to his mom, I know Tyson would never be like that to me. I  feel more secured of his loyalty and his willingness to take a chance on us.

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