i have so much to write, but no matter how hard i try this week, i can’t seem to find the intersection of time and energy.
there are the small pockets of time – the long, slow minutes that i find myself staring at the clock – watching 3:59 a.m. give way to 4:00, dreading the alarm clock’s wail just half an hour later.
there are the quick, short-lived bursts of energy – the antsy, foot tapping, finger drumming moments at work when it all comes together and we find success. or when we don’t.
but the two together? not so much.
and it kills me, because there’s so much to say.
i want to tell you about the cab driver who took me to work yesterday. who told me about his 21 year old son. the seizure disorder, the autism, the bout of depression, the suicide watch. how he gave up a lucrative career in sales for the flexibility of driving a cab. how the cab company let him take the taxi to the hospital after his shift so that he could be with his son after the drug interactions had gotten out of control. how his son is working now, full time at the local drug store. how proud he sounded, and how profoundly tired he was.
i want to tell you about the advice he gave me. how he told me to manage my expectations of brooke – whose name he never knew – and what she could achieve. how he told me to always think of her as three years younger than she really is. how he told me that advice would serve me well. how he told me if i never expected too much, i’d never be disappointed. i want to tell you how i bristled at his words, but said thank you and smiled and wished him well.
i want to tell you about the cheer that now follows grace at our dinner table. how, just as we always have, we hold hands and recite the words that never fail to catch in my throat, ‘thank you for the food we are about to receive and for the precious gift of each other,‘ but how brooke has apparently decided that it’s no longer enough. how after amen, we now have to put our hands into the center of the table and cheer, ‘go, go, go, go goooooolden explorers!!!’ how even though it’s a silly line from dora (of course), it feels like no less a blessing than the words that precede it. how it reminds me each and every time that we are a team. that we’re in this together.
i want to tell you about the mayday club. about how katie and i have followed her pen pal, riley’s lead and we are training together to run a 5k. how we call it mayday for a combination of our names and because we started it on the 1st of may. how luau made us our own little training schedule based on marathon training. how katie’s little ponytail bounces while she runs and her huge grin lights up the entire neighborhood. i want to tell you how good it feels to be with her for the mere ten minutes that it takes to complete our initial run.
i want to tell you how hard it is to leave brooke for those ten minutes. how it’s not the time, it’s the leaving. i want to tell you what that means. i want to explain that it kills me every time brooke says, ‘you and katie are going. bye, mama and katie’ and turns on her heel and walks away. i want to tell you about the guilt. the constant, heavy, overwhelming guilt that comes along for the run. how i feel like katie and i are constantly leaving without her. how it has nothing to do with running. how brooke almost never wants to leave the house, but how i have to go out on the weekends. i work full time, when else do i see the light of day? how if i’m being honest, it’s not just because i have to, but because i want to. how i can’t sit in the house all day. how it’s just not how i’m wired. how the walls start closing in. and how katie wants to come, no matter where i’m going. how i sometimes drag brooke along because i don’t want to be without her. about how selfish that feels. how i can’t seem to find a right answer.
i want to tell you about the man at home depot who gave me a silent signal to wait while brooke was melting down there last weekend. how the babies crying across the store had been too much for her to handle. how she couldn’t calm herself down and i couldn’t seem to help. how with one finger in the air he convinced me to stand still with my sobbing, heaving girl while he walked away. how i trusted that he had a plan. how he came back with a single orchid and held it out to her without a word. how she reached for it and took it. how it slowed her down, gave her something to focus on. how i barely managed to say, ‘thank you so much, sir. that was so nice of you.’ how that small kindness has stayed with me for a week.
i want to tell you katie’s new joke. the one about the snail who knocks on a woman’s door. how when she answers she’s disgusted by him and she throws him to the sidewalk. how four years later, the woman hears a knock on the door. how when she answers it the snail says, ‘what was that all about?’
i want to tell you how my blog world has started to bleed into my work world. how we talked about it at a business dinner last night. how my partner told everyone at the table that he thought i should be writing a book. how touched i was. i want to tell you how nice it is that my worlds have begun to collide. how it’s humanizing my business relationships and taking friendships to entirely different levels. about how much energy it took to compartmentalize my life. how blessed i feel to be in a place where people are strong enough to embrace a whole person. or maybe simply that i’m finally getting strong enough to embrace being a whole person.
i want to tell you how tired i am of the word autism. how weary i am of hearing about friends and family joining the club. how 1 in 150 is too many. how i keep asking why – why so many?
i want to tell you how team brooke is getting up and running. how we raised over a thousand dollars in the first twenty four hours. how there’s only twenty four thousand more to get to our goal. how i know we’ll get there. again.
i want to tell you how luau’s running a half marathon this weekend. and how proud i am of him. i want to tell you how disappointed i am in myself for not sticking with my goal to do the same. how mayday is the best i can do right now. and how i’m trying to be ok with that.
i want to tell you how much easier it is to type without capital letters.
i want to tell you to have a fabulous weekend. to enjoy the unofficial start to summer. to break out the whites. to remember why we observe memorial day. to thank our servicemen and women and their families. to honor the incredible sacrifice that so many have made. to remember how blessed we are to be safe and free. to remember that freedom isn’t free.
i wanted to share the words from the toby keith song ‘american soldier’ that run through my head this time of year,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don’t want to die for you,
But if dying’s asked of me,
I’ll bear that cross with honor,
‘Cause freedom don’t come free.
i want to send my love to paul and gretchen and their beautiful girls. i want to tell them that we pray for them every day. that we cannot ever thank them enough for all that they do. i want to tell you the story about my trip to nashville to see them just before paul’s last deployment to iraq. how every time we went out to eat, i scooped the bill. how it drove paul crazy and he finally confronted me. ‘jessie,’ he began, obviously fed up with my anticts, ‘why the hell do you keep paying for everything, damn it?’ how he was angry. how i looked at him sheepishly and said, ’cause i’m supporting our troops and you’re the only troop i know damn it.’
how he laughed and let it go.
how i wish he’d get his butt back from afghanistan. how grateful we all are.
yes, i have an awful lot i’d like to tell you.
if only i had the time.