I have so much to tell you, damn it. But the clock reads 4:48 am and I have to be on a plane at 9 am, so let’s see, subtract the three, carry the one and that means, hmm, I have twelve minutes to write. Shoot, it’s already 4:49. Make that eleven minutes to write. This isn’t going well.
But I desperately want to tell you about the utterly fabulous man who read -> this <- and then invited us to do this ..
Yup, that’s Firefighter Brooke in there
.. and who came up with the utterly fabulous idea of making Brooke an Official Home Fire Safety Inspector because well, she really likes to be anything official and maybe, Oh for the love of God, please let it help.
And I want to tell you that Katie has been campaigning to go away to sleep away camp for three weeks this summer. And how NOT ready I am to surrender her for three weeks, but how wonderful I know it will be for her to be in a place where she can be defined by nothing other than her fabulous little self. Not a sister or a daughter, just HER, in all her Katie-ness. I want to tell you how I think we’ve found the perfect place. How it’s all coming together. And how I’m thrilled, yet, ya know, not.
And I really, really want to tell you about how I went to talk to someone the other day. Someone wonderful. Someone not at all like the last person who I went to talk to who had me pretty well convinced that there was no point in going to talk to anyone at all. And I want to tell you that halfway through our intake session, she said something that led me to believe that there really are no accidents.
“I should tell you,” she said, “that I have a teenage son with autism.”
And I want to tell you how those words allowed for a short-hand, a shared language that felt like an open door.
And I want to tell you that there is profound relief in being not just heard but understood.
And I want to tell you that it’s worth trying to find that person. Because I didn’t believe that it was.
And I want to tell you how incredibly proud I am of my dear friend Rachel, who kicked some congressional ass yesterday. Who told her story, her family’s story, and in so doing brought a briefing room first to tears and then to their feet.
I want to tell you that Rachel is incredibly special in so many ways, and yet I want you to know that she’s not special at all. I want you to know that there is nothing in her that is not in each and every single one of us, and that once it’s awakened, it can move mountains.
And I want to tell you how proud I am of her for pushing when the pushing felt futile. For calling again when no one answered. For not taking no for an answer. For asking for help when she needed it. For getting up and starting again every damn day.
And I want you to know how ridiculously excited I was to send an e-mail saying:
In case you haven’t heard, I am THRILLED to announce that John Kerry pledged his support today to sponsor a Senate companion of HR 2288.
His office just reached out to say that they look forward to working with the folks in Larson’s office and the Autism Speaks national office as well as the advocates who came in today.
Forward motion, my friends. You are doing God’s work on behalf of our nation’s littlest heroes. Nothing less.
And I want to tell you how grateful I am to Senator Kerry for taking up this cause, but so too to my dear, dear friend Drew who did so much more than he will admit to make that happen. I don’t have the words to thank him.
And I want to tell you how Brooke was having a tough time – yet again – last night. And how after I’d come home riding high on the day’s successes, where she was brought me right back to the reality of why we spend so much time fighting to make things better. I want to tell you how she shook in my arms. And how it damn near broke me.
And I want to tell you how at bedtime, Lucy curled up on the end of her bed and simply refused to budge when it was time for me to go. And how when Brooke came into my room forty-five minutes later and crawled into my bed with me, the demons too big to fight alone, Lucy waited for her, never leaving her bed. And how after a little while I was able to say, “Let’s take you back to bed, baby. Lucy’s there waiting,” and how calming her presence was when Brooke climbed into her bed and began petting her head. And how I looked at them both as I walked out of her room and wondered who really had rescued whom.
And well, there’s all that and so much more that I want to tell you.
But now it’s 5:09 and well, adding the six and carrying the two .. I’m out of time.