Saturday  …

We’re in my convertible on our way home from Brooke’s adaptive dance class. The top is down as we soak in every drop of yet another in a glorious series of unseasonably warm mornings.

Despite the fact that she had a great time in class, she seems out of sorts.

I reach over and cup my hand beneath her chin. Usually, she’d stick her tongue out and we’ll laugh. Instead, she recoils.

A few minutes later, I reach for her forearm. I squeeze it, careful to be firm, knowing too light a touch can be torture.

“Please don’t touching me,” she says.

“Sorry,” baby,” I say. “I won’t.”

She curls her entire body toward the door.

“You okay?” I ask.

She nods.

“Just not feeling so cuddly today?” I ask.

She doesn’t say anything, but her body has already answered the question.

“That’s okay,” I say. “It’s funny though, I’m feeling super huggy today. But I’ll keep my hands to myself, promise!”

I put both hands on the wheel and hum along with the radio as I wait for the light to change.

Without a word, she reaches over and puts an arm across my shoulder. Her fingers, never truly still, dance ever so softly on the back of my neck.

I am overwhelmed by the raw, pure, unadulterated generosity of the act – of HER.

“Thank you, baby,” I say.

She nods.

A single tear, overripe with gratitude, escapes.

She takes her hand back to let it float in the wind.

We drive.


7 thoughts on “untitled

  1. Because I read this post this morning before I left for school, when one of my “former” students “on the spectrum” (is that offensive?) voluntarily came to my classroom for a Time Out, I thought to ask her, “Is it ok if I hold your arm?” When she gently replied no, I told her that she had told me no in a very respectful way and I was proud of her for that. She smiled. Thank you, Jess, for teaching me.

      • I told her first that I was truly honored that she chose to come to me instead of melting down. I was very proud of both of us. I learn so much from you about appreciating the little things, which as a Depressive, is crucial for me. I’m so happy to have to & your family in my life!

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