It all started when my friend, Alysia mentioned that she was looking for submissions for the Sensory Processing Disorder Blogger Network (SPDBN), a wonderful community page full of stories, resources and support for families who live with SPD. That’s all it took.
Suddenly I was on a train, zooming through the backwoods of memory, blithely admiring the greenery just before the wreck.
Words flew by my window, pulling me back to the places they were formed.
Brooke loves the beach
Salty and heavy and thick
Warm and gritty
She lays down in the sand every chance she gets, extending her arms and legs
Making angels of a sort
Soft and wet and dense
Clumpy on her hands
Her legs, her shoulders
Everything has its own wildly different consistency
She loves the variety of textures
Rubs them into her skin
She runs through the dry sea grass
She shimmies into the middle of it and lets it scratch her skin
Like a cat
(from Diary, August, 2008)
It’s funny, but the train flew by the more obvious depots – the restaurants, the headphones, the screaming babies, the wildly failed attempts at family breakfast – none were even visible from where I sat.
Instead, I watched incarnation after incarnation of the beach scene – a tactilist’s wonderland each and every one – with their glorious textures, wide open spaces and intense temperatures. My girl is never freer than when she is at the beach.
My heart ached with the sweetness of the those moments.
And then, without warning, a God- awful screech and the train lurched to a stop in a heap of twisted metal. My heart raced as I struggled to look around and take stock of the wreckage.
i sit on the floor of brooke’s room
her head is cradled in my lap – her long, lean body sandwiched between my outstretched legs
i look at her upside down, searching her face helplessly
i desperately hope i’m not hurting her
but she keeps pressing my hands harder, harder, then harder still into the sides of her head
she is shaking
i impulsively wipe a tear as it slowly drips down her cheek
wiping the tear took my hand from her ear
she grabs it and swiftly replaces it to its station
“YOU WOULD HOLD MY EARS!” she yells
the tension in her voice is palpable
i press my legs around hers
“sorry, baby. i’ll hold them now. don’t worry, i’ve got you little one”
i hold her body in mine
it’s all i have
to protect her from the demons
katie stands on her sister’s bed and peers behind the headboard
she shakes her head as she calls out to us in a sing-song
“nope, she’s not here!”
she is trying to help her sister find the latest stuffed animal to have been swallowed whole by our house
katie is so eager to help
her selflessness nearly kills me …
To continue reading this post, please click over to the Sensory Processing Disorder Blogger Network.
I’ll see you there.
(Don’t wait too long; train’s leaving ..)