The truth is, despite my shiny, rule keeping good girl exterior, I am a delinquent at heart, a criminal, a wanna be con. Because every day I’m fighting the law. Every. Single. Day. The law of inertia is no joke, especially when it comes to pitting your will against…your will.
My life experiences have done more than just allow me the opportunity to perfect the fetal ball. Additionally, they have given me insight into how plot twists, rising conflict and unresolved love triangles shape us all. They have reminded me that if I want to know someone’s story, I can’t just make up my own version for them, if I want to know, I need to ask.
On those ridiculously dark night, when the weight of love is as dense and heavy as an untouched fruit cake; I’ve wondered if all the talking, listening, reasoning and reassuring makes even a chink in the armor of autism, let alone a dent in the shield. But, my ace up my sleeve is knowing I can perseverate too. In fact, love compels me to repeat something intently or redundantly, usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point. I choose to believe that the weight of love will be decisive. That the gravity of devotion is cumulative, that it all matters.
All the times I wiped noses, wiped butts, buckled boys in car seats, and stopped on the side of the road every other mile to REBUCKLE them in car seats, matter. All the hours nursing children with the stomach flu, the cracked nipples, ER visits and bouts of biting. All the landforms formed, PE clothes washed, forgotten lunches delivered. All the binkies found, Halloween costumes created, knees bandaged, and apples peeled. All the books read, boundaries set, chores enforced, and meadows checked. The sleepless nights stumbled through, the lullabies sung, the waiting in long lines for the ferris wheel. The parent teacher conferences, the scolding absorbed, the laundry washed, pancakes flipped, tempers held and crusts removed, it all counts.
While witnessing this moment of unabashed reverence, I was reminded again how fortunate I’ve been to have a father like my dad, and a mother like my mom. Watching him in the predawn dark, made me think back to all those long ago winter mornings of my youth. It was often still dark when I’d stumble up the stairs from my basement bedroom, weak with sleep, dragging my blanket behind me as I climbed. Predictably, I’d find my dad in his underwear, kneeling in front of the brick fireplace steadily blowing life into the beginning sparks of a new flame.
“Courage is not born from effortless immaculate conception. Courage is conceived in terrifying moments of raw bravery. Courage keeps pace with fear. It is barely one step ahead, and sometimes the race seems so close you wonder who will cross the finish line first.”
The reality of my alleged depression being more headline worthy news than Jake jumping out of the second story science classroom set off warning bells inside my head, leading my 13 year old self to assume depression was something to be ashamed of, something you hide.
It’s easy to look at other tightly sealed shells and think they have it all together. Look at the curves on her lips? I mean she had to have her scallops enhanced. But you never know what’s going on inside another person. No one is immune to adversity or setbacks. Even small irrantants like a stressful work environment, can be that little grain. Or maybe you’ve been trying to wrap around a freaking boulder like childhood cancer. No one ever has enough nacre for that.
We had been locked in a dead sprint towards the finish line, trying to keep up or catch up, or just not fall. “We just have to get through these last few weeks…” I’d say to myself over and over agains as I ran around finding props for plays, or making cupcakes for the banquet, throwing his white dress shirt into the dryer with a damp towel again and again so he’d appear unwrinkled, care for.
On days when I can’t seem to stop myself from stumbling into the black cave of despair, the damp cloying silt of grief clinging to […]