I never fully understood this phrase, “eyes wide shut.” As I sat down to type just now, the phrase burst into my consciousness, and yeah, at last, I get it. NOT the movie Eyes Wide Shut. The movie sucked–it sucked a lot and it sucked hard. I suffered through that piece of crap on a VHS tape from Blockbuster in my 20s probably, and sure didn’t get it then. I remember people saying it was so intellectual, almost an art film, but clearly my film intellect was lacking. And because I rarely react appropriately to anything (under- or over-react every time), I’m still mad that I sat through that whole stupid movie. The phrase though? Again with the light bulb.
Last night was the kids’ Pinewood Derby. I don’t do Scouting. It’s the one family activity against which I assert a firm “no, thank you.” It’s the one thing I don’t have to manage and only marginally attend to; scouting is the one kid thing for which my husband is wholly responsible (I tried to say that with a straight face here). I participated as a spectator in the annual race event last night, and oh, the things I spectated. I saw my boy as he is, as he faces the real world, and as the world sees him. It hurt. Bad. The real world isn’t all that forgiving when you crash into it or trip over it. The real world’s filled with math and science whizzes in compact, athletic bodies who can maneuver hand and power tools and iPods and social situations. I observed my son with a spectator’s pair of eyes, and I couldn’t leave that auditorium fast enough last night. For the first time since the first week (you know, the first week since we got the MD Dx), I cried myself to sleep. And then I woke up at 2:30 and 3:00 and 4:45 and cried. I cried at work today–completely not awesome–and I cried when I got home but NOT while watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the kids tonight–not even when Cameron goes off the rails. By the way, there are a lot more ‘shits’ and ‘dammits’ than I remembered, and my little kid cracked up each and every time a character swore. I am so not getting that mother of the year nomination!
I have colleagues I respect and admire and genuinely like a great deal. One of the girls is much younger than me, and wise beyond her years. She is wickedly funny, has command of vocabulary I sometimes I have to consult a dictionary for after we speak, and has a sense of righteousness and justice. She is a much finer human being than I–they all are, each of my co-workers, who am I kidding? I said to her today that acceptance of our children’s realities comes in stages, and that may be true, but it’s not what I meant. What I meant was that awareness comes in stages. I am so far from acceptance that we’re not even in the same zip code. I’m not sure we’re even in the same area code, truth be told. But I am aware, I mean I knew. But now I KNOW. It’s waaaaaay easier on my head and heart to avoid situations that I know might be tough to mom-watch than to be head-butted like I was last night. Maybe that’s another reason I’ve avoided Scouts. Eyes wide shut was a pretty cool place by way of comparison.