Friday, September 30, 2011

It's what you know

I have discovered something about myself. For some, when the going gets tough, they reach for their pens and journal their deepest thoughts. I know lots of women that write lengthy letters pouring their hearts out... letters they never, ever plan to send.

I am not that girl. Not anymore.

When things get tough - I avoid the pen. The last thing I want laying around is a written reminder of how crappy a situation was. Somewhere in this house I have a box with letters in it. Remember letters? In the days pre-text and pre-email I was a letter writer. I had really nice, swoopy girly handwriting and reams of earthy, edgy stationary. This particular box of letters is buried somewhere in a closet ... and are the byproduct of a rather dramatic and lengthy relationship I had pre-marriage (obviously.. ha ha... or else this blog just took a totally different direction). This was the relationship that was so fraught with drama that it didn't know what to with itself if a weekly breakup didn't occur. I came across "the box" when we were moving. I was 9 months pregnant with baby 2. Baby 1 was 16 months old, non-verbal and not developing according to all the charts. I was a sobbing, puffy hormone with feet. Swollen feet. That I could only see with a hand mirror and some effort. I opened "the box", saw the stacks of letters, pictures, ticket stubs and old schmaltzy birthday cards and realized in an instant what it was: It was my entire past relationship in a box. You could literally smell the drama when you took the lid off. (Interestingly, drama smells a little like Drakkar Noir. Who knew?).

I am telling you, I couldn't get that lid back on that box fast enough! A casual observer would have thought I'd spied a python inside. I was already sobbing at Kodak commercials ... I knew my frail pregnant self couldn't handle "the box". So, I buried it so cleverly in a closet that to this day, I am not sure where it is. Which is for the best. May that box rest in peace. I like to think I spent my single years as a cool Martini-swilling sophisticate that doled out sex appeal and one liners like the Midwest's own Carrie Bradshaw. I don't need no stinking box to tell me a more accurate version of events. My memory is a much better version. Interestingly, the older I get, the better my version becomes. I predict by age 70 I will actually introduce myself to strangers as "Carrie Bradshaw" and believe it to be so. Here's hoping.

OK, so I have been avoiding my blog lately. Not on purpose, but it's been kind of a crappy few months and I didn't want to write any of it down. Autism is a big fat roller coaster and we spent a few months going down the hill. But things are looking up again and I am done feeling sorry for myself and so, here I am.

Actually, I was here a few weeks ago. Trying to think of what to write about. I just couldn't think of ANYTHING to say. Which is weird, because the joy in writing for me is that it has never been difficult. I've never had to think to find something to say, I only had to remember when to stop.

But I had a case of writer's block. And so I'd shut my laptop and watch a little TV and hope that something would unclog my clog. Tonight, that something came along.

Every night before bed my son requests that I tell him a story. It's a ritual started years ago that I am now sort of stuck with. I lay down with him for a few minutes and tell him a story about a boy named John. John is a great little kid that happens to have autism and he goes on lots of adventures. He's been to China, won an academy award and once even met the President. So, every night I have to come up with an adventure, off the cuff, at bedtime. And trust me, there can't be any re-runs. This kids remembers stories he heard in utero I swear to God.

So tonight I snuggle down into those blue fleece sheets and lay next to my first born. I take a deep breath and inhale the smell of his shampooey hair and close my eyes to try and think of tonight's plot line. My son says to me, "Mom... what are you doing?" and I said "Just thinking of a story... trying to come up with something good". And then... he took his hand and placed it on my forehead and said "Mommy... The best stories don't come from here," He placed his hand on my heart & said, "They come from here. Don't think about it. Just know it. It's not what you think that matters. It's what you know."

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I just made all that up. I swear to God... I didn't. He said it, with full eye contact, and total sincerity.

And me? Well, let's just say I'm smart enough to recognize a message from God when I hear one.

And just like that. My clog unclogged. My block unblocked. And I stopped thinking. And just wrote about what I knew.

It's good to be back.