Friday, December 23, 2011

Scenes from a Life

When establishing life's priorities, distractions abound. The phone rings, the Blackberry blinks, Outlook pops up in a corner of the laptop screen, some one sticks his or her head in your office. Sometimes the distraction is an absence; some one who failed to show up or do something or whatever--because those absences are also a source of all the preceding stuff.

I've discovered something new about myself in all this. That I am, in fact, capable of diving into those crevices of quiet and staying there as long as I need to. The means vary, but the end is the same; I do the needful and manage to let the execution of what I need to do stay where it's needed.

I've had a lot shake up my world this week, but the fact that I'm unshaken is something of a revelation. But how do I explain?

Spending time with my younger boy at his class holiday party today opened my eyes to a whole new experience. My years as Nic's room mom were hard. It was hard being in that room, whatever that room was, and seeing how different, how much the outlier, my son was. In a way, that was my distraction.

In G's room, even though, yeah, he's different, he's as much a part of his class as his brother probably was. But he's also a different kid. And watching him, in all his quiet glowing glory, was a pleasure. He cuddled up with me while his teacher read a couple stories at the end of the party. Then he hugged me goodbye and let me go about my business of finishing holiday shopping.

Nic would have balked. Nic has balked. But that's okay, because that's who he is.

I get that, now.

So, speaking of who he is, I sat at a stop light after my shopping trip, and who did I see but my big guy, walking up the hill in search of an elevator adventure. I looked down, thinking he didn't see me. I look up again, and there he is, waving wildly at me and jumping up and down, the biggest, most radiant smile on his face.

His joy at our unexpected encounter choked me up. I smiled and waved at him. He gestured that he was taking a walk and trying to get into the elevators up the hill, and then gave me a big thumbs up. He kept turning around and waving as I drove away.

Suddenly, I was seeing Nic as he was at 18 months or so, on the campus of UDMNJ. It was a sunny late summer afternoon, and he was wearing a red and blue rugby jumper, and a big smile, his curly blond hair waving in the breeze, his big blue eyes sparkling. He was chasing a butterfly, and he turned around every few steps, waving, and would turn and run on......

And so my tween waves and walks on, and turns and waves again. And walks on.

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