Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

My sister and her husband have installed a swing in the basement for the boys.  It scares the crap out of me. (I am reminded, however, of the contraptions my friends and I would build FROM SCRATCH, in our bids to play fast and loose with our very lives.  I'm all astonishment that none of us lost an eye or half an earlobe riding the "Dead Tree Goat Bucker" in the homemade carnival out in the woods.)

Yesterday, R. was desperate to show me how high he could go.  It seems that K., their other babysitter, would pull him up in the air and then release him to the wind.  I tried two or three times to recreate the thrill ride.  Each time was a little lackluster, as I hesitated to swing him from any real height.  R. was unapologetic in his criticism.

"This is wrong.  It has to be high, high, high up.  Maybe you're not so strong."

The words "Maybe you're not so strong" hit the eight-year-old "I'll show YOU how strong I am, you little turd." button (It's awful, isn't it, to be goaded into action by a four-year-old?) I pulled the swing as high as I could and let go.

R. swooped forward and let out an excited little giggle from his heaving chest.  He was finally satisfied (And I bathed in relief that my playtime would not end in a bloody nose or a broken coccyx.)

"Is that fun?" I asked.

Between breathless laughs he stammered, "Yes.  My heart is going so fast.  It feels like it's scared.  But my brain knows I'm going to be okay."

Oh, JEE-zus, here we go.  

Stupid kid. Stupid amazing kid. 

Over this past weekend, I was given a gift.  It was an actual, physical present made for me.  I accepted it and held onto it for a while, clutching it in my sweaty palms. After a while, I felt a little self conscious, so I had to put it down, even though I wanted to carry it with me everywhere.  

When I got it home at last, I was able to marvel at it in private, without feeling like a freak.  

It's rare to recognize the value of something the very moment you have it.  Far easier is to imagine a hypothetical scenario, When the day arrives and I am able grasp the treasure in my hands, I'll know just what to do.  Though painful at times, easier still is to recall the "Whateveritis that got away".  If I had it to do over again, I would change everything

Reality is different and near paralytic.  Rounding a corner, there it is:  a deer grazing in the clearing.  I want to run to it, hold it in my arms, but surely it will run away.  I want to sit, silent and watch.  But how will it know how beautiful I think it is?

You think too much, -j-j-.  Just relax and enjoy yourself.  

Oh, shut up.  Don't you think I know that?  Christ, I'm terrified with every inch I amble towards happiness.  Jeez.  No wonder people love to be miserable.  At least misery is certain.

But then, of course, you're certainly miserable.  


"My heart is going so fast.  It feels like it's scared.  But my brain knows I'm going to be okay."

1 comment:

Erica said...

You rule.

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