i love you too, scrappy doo
you know why?
cause when God had this mad crazy idea to challenge us with these extra special kids
He said to himself (or herself)
i’ll give her a friend
a really good friend
who will GET it like no one’s business
i’ll put them on opposite ends of the country
that’ll be fun
then i’ll watch them find each other
you know what, God?
look what else we can do
~ Drama Mama in one of the hundreds of e-mails that fly back and forth between us – filling my heart, holding me up and sustaining me day after day
Yours truly with my dear friends, John Elder Robison and the inimitable Drama Mama
My computer is not big enough. The screen is too small. The keyboard falls woefully short. Words are puny, meek. They feel ridiculous. I don’t know where to start.
This past weekend was just too big. I have no idea how to record it, to capture it, to share it.
Drama Mama and her girls swooped in for a visit – two days, one night. Then they packed up their bags, took a piece of my heart and drove away.
They were with us for just two days, but they were two days of sheer magic.
Two days of comfort and joy and celebration.
Two days of truth and honesty and real life – unedited.
There was the incredible, glorious luxury of a shared language.
There was pride.
There was insecurity.
There were nerves laid raw then coated and soothed by the salve of friendship.
There were knowing, battle-weary smiles.
There were unsupressed tears.
There was love.
There was far more than I could process – still.
There was a husband who took care of all of us, then made himself scarce.
There was a chance to see him through others’ eyes.
There was gratitude and appreciation.
There was no judgement – none.
There was affirmation and validation – enough to carry me for years.
There was tenderness.
There was FOOD.
There were first sleep-overs and a delightfully innocent game of Truth or Dare.
There was FUN.
There were hugs …
… LOTS and LOTS of hugs …
There were new friends …
There was laughter …
… a glorious abundance of laughter …
There was a ‘wedding’ …
There were flower girls (which Brooke took literally, attempting to dress herself as a flower – the green dress as her stem and the pink tutu on her head as the flower) …
There was the gorgeous, incredible, delightful Kyra! (who clearly beat us to the shower and looks characteristically adorable in this picture – btch) …
There were ‘space suits’ – one red; one blue …
There was chocolate cake that was far more interesting than space travel …
There were breaks on Daddy’s shoulders when ground level was just too much …
There were sillies …
Above all, there was complete and total acceptance.
There was the realization that there is no greater gift than friends who get it – who just simply get it. Who have no need for filtration nor translation. With whom we can be exactly who we are at every given moment.
Friends who microwave s’mores with you and tell you you are the best baker EVER. Who stand next to you at the kitchen sink while you tear up and quietly tell you that you are a great mom. Who find you outside on the stoop after you have found your kid left behind by the pack – roaming alone – and who simply sit through the sadness and tell you that they know. Who just know.
A friend whose children set an entire city alight with their energy, curiosity and joy. Who drip their beauty and wisdom, empathy and compassion, integrity and love on everyone around them. Whose sense of themselves defies all reason and far surpasses any adult I know. Whose eldest child’s stunning grace belies the constant work that it takes to be where she is. Whose very bearing offers hope – we will be OK.
Yes, a friend whose children filled my heart until it threatened to come undone. Whose children I could barely stand to watch leave.
More than anything, there was the invaluable gift of knowing that we are not alone – that behind the computer screen are real, live friends. There was proof for each and every one of us that this community that we’ve created here in the ether – though it often feels so surreal – is full of tangible, wonderful, glorious people to whom we are bound by common experience, respect and love. There are friends whose hopes and dreams and sadness and fears are just like our own. Friends who walk beside us every step of the way. And who sometimes just sit on a stoop with us and be.
Yes, God – we found each other. What else indeed.