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

but first

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.

34 thoughts on “drama

  1. Beautiful, precious memories!

    Love that there was a real live Backyardigans wedding in your house!

    There’s a Toni Morrison quote that I love and describes some of the friends I’ve been blessed with, and I know it is you and Drama as well:

    “She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

  2. i have to say, i was terrified to see my makeup-less morning face as i scrolled down…but then i read the post.

    we said that you couldn’t possibly write how magical the weekend was, but you know, kid…

    i think you did.

    and for me, it’s also this: i see myself, my struggles in you. i saw it in john elder robison, i saw it in kyra (who, by the way, is SCRUMPTIOUS). that suddenly the “separateness” that i sometimes feel doesn’t exist – because you are all there. thousands of miles away. sometimes just a text or tweet. but you’re all out there in the dark with me.

    i love the fact that i can feel like crap, and look at my phone, and, somehow, miraculously, there’s a funny text or silly joke on my phone.

    that fat pants are mandatory in your home.

    that the girls walk away talking about luau as if he’s their uncle…and that his noodles are “the best EVER”

    that when you say that your kid needs to take a dora break, we ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.


    what really gets me are the pics of the girls. strangers who felt safe enough to eat, sleep, get married, hug…it takes a very, very special place to do that.

    and that’s what you provide. a safe place. warmth. love. sustenance (okay, a nice way of saying a sht load of good food). i’ve got a post a brewin’, but i don’t think it’ll touch this:
    i say this:

    that you, jess, make it happen.

    YOU bring the love that you need BECAUSE you give so much love.

    as miss m, says, you’re easy. easy to be with. easy to love.

    oh, and what a world you’ve created for your girls.


    that husband of yours is incredible. he’s a big ol’ part of you. consider yourself well-matched, sweetheart.

    p.p.s. oh, and carrie? i speak the spanish. i just LIKE to call him RO-JO, ‘kay? don’t ask me about all the little idiosyncratic things i do, ’cause you might think i’m (shhh) a little on the spectrum.

  3. hey, there are two rules in my house .. wear your fat pants (though i prefer to live in denial and call em comfy pants – tomayto, tomahto) and always double dip.

    snark aside, your words here have nearly done me in – love you, girl

  4. (hey! i had no shower! just a cupful of your wonderful hubby’s coffee…)

    that IS a beautiful quote, rhemashope!

    it seems to me you found the perfect words, jess! your heart and words are big enough to have captured the spectacularity of your weekend with drama and the girls. i had a little window into it and i tell you, it was MAGIC to see them together! all of them are irresistible, beautiful! and clearly fast friends! your home reflects the grace and love and welcoming spirit in your entire family’s collective heart!


  5. The pic of Luau with Brooke is amazing. Their expressions. You’re doing so much right by your girls, your family, your friends. Life is good.

  6. OMG! My heart is so full reading this. Thank you for sharing your visit with us. Oh! The pictures. Thank you! Thank you!

    I love you both, and you too Kyra, and of course, you too Luau.

    And the girls. I want to eat them. Every last crumb of them.

  7. “There were nerves laid raw then coated and soothed by the salve of friendship.”


    But you forgot the most important part, the Spanish pronunciation lesson to the 1/2 Mexican!

  8. oh, jo – i’m so glad, but say it with me, luv .. ‘comfy pants’ … so much more positive and affirming, don’t you think? lol

    michelle – indeed – i didn’t realize that the two of them had never met in person until that night .. it was fabulous! and those of you who know any or all of us in real life, you might have noticed that poor john is nearly on his knees in that photo!

    carrie – omg, i am DYING!

    (and thank you all for the wonderful comments!)

  9. My friend, you amaze me over and over! I really wish I could have come out with you ladies last Thursday. Hopefully, this is the 1st of many visits and I look forward to meeting Drama on the next go around!!!

  10. You and Drama are nourishment for my soul. You share of yourselves in a way so honest that the rest of us don’t feel so alone. I’m so glad that your amazing virtual relationship translated to an earthly one.

    And if fat pants are mandatory, save me a spot!

  11. robin – such generous words, thank you

    and mel ~ that happens a lot around these parts – i loved drama long before i ever ‘met’ her 🙂

  12. Jess,
    Your words are inspiring as well as one we all should aspire to!
    Friends who truly understand are quite rare and accompanied by pictures, the memories are indelible!
    Robin Hausman Morris

  13. Thanks for letting the rest of us experience the joy of this connection through your photos and words. I almost felt like I got to be there too. I had a blast!

  14. john ~ woof right back atcha darlin

    mm ~ you were there .. you were ALL there!

    brenda ~ thank you for the quote, it’s beautiful

    niksmom ~ see mm, but also know that someday soon you WILL be


  15. “Friends are God’s way of taking care of us.” (No idea where this comes from, but it fits.)
    The comments are as hilarious as the post. Comfy pants, no showers, no makeup, no matter. You girls give me a lift.

  16. *sigh* Joy. Envy. Delight. Envy. I think you and Dm must be two sides of the same coin in so many regards. Wish Ilived close enough (or was able to travel!) to be able to connect in person.

  17. Pingback: Something Extra « Autism In a Word

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