Listening to my iPod on the way home from Cincinnati Sunday night, the Air France CRJ200 is building up to its 180 or so mph needed to take flight, and the lyrics from Odds Are “crashed in an airplane” come blasting through my earbuds. Not cool, universe. I used that song as my mantra while driving to my kid’s first-ever neurology appointment, and it was wildly unsuccessful in staving off the MD diagnosis. It did however shield me from a fiery crash en route home from my concert bender Sunday, so I live to write another day. Go, me!
At Saturday night’s show, my fave singer on the planet asked the audience who had an interest in collective nouns, and dork me was like, “oh yeah, totally me.” So now this is on my mind since Saturday. All the time. Who contemplates collective nouns? Thanks a bunch, Ed.
I began this post titled, Down, Really Down, Up, Holy Crap UP, And Then Down Again. It was a little busy, I’ll grant. But now that I’m laser-focused on flocks, pods, murders, congresses, and litters, I am searching for a word to capture all of the emotions running laps in my brain these last few months. What do you call multiple accordions? Ah, you had to be there. Nevermind.
I pretty well covered that in my previous post, and you know how I hate beating a dead horse. Ahem. Maybe I’m not really depressed. I think after last weekend, I’m not actually depressed. Definitely not. I had to retitle this post because focusing on feeling low isn’t even needed, so let’s all just pretend this never happened, m’kay?
At my son’s occupational therapy appointment last week, his therapist suggested it was time for a splint. Because of the muscle contracture in one of his wrists, she came to believe that splinting his wrist will be one way to maintain some range of motion in a passive way. It signaled for me the end of an era. My son has in the two years since his diagnosis begun to need equipment for MD. Damn that was a quick couple orbits around the sun. I know I was all leaky eyes when the OT was explaining this to me, and as I in turn tried to clarify what I understood for my son. Damn. I ferried him back to school and began the ugly cry in the car the second he passed through the doors. The ugly cry persisted into my workplace, accompanied by a serious inability/lack of desire to communicate. Poor Valerie and Jill had to witness the mascara trails directly, and suffer through the sniffing between my commentary of, “I know it could be worse, someone always has it worse. It’s just that, well, compared to not having MD at all, having MD fucking sucks.” Having an allied health professional refer to your child’s hand as “well not deformed, but you can see how it’s different” felt like sucker punch. It’s an honest assessment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not painful.
I met my Muscle Walk fundraising goal. Which is freaking amazing. So most definitely trending up. But not HOLY CRAP up yet. Keep reading.
HOLY CRAP UP!
If you’re new here, you may not know that last year our MDA Muscle Walk team received a $1000 anonymous donation. Not knowing the source of this incredible magnanimity has eaten me up since last spring. I’ve had a few moments of absolute clarity: I KNOW who it is! It’s . . . only to have been disproven. I have as much idea now as I did then, which is exactly not one teensy trace of a clue.
I receive an email from the lovely Elizabeth at our MDA chapter, asking how I “managed to pull this off.” Because I was occupied weighing the am I depressed or am I not? scales, sicker than I’ve felt in some time, and wanting only to spend time with my dear Netflix friends, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore of late, I hadn’t looked often at our Muscle Walk team page. Holy crap. HOLY CRAP!! One thousand dollars. To our team. What? Who? Why us???
True charity is shown when someone offers something remarkable, genuinely life-altering, y’all, and asks nothing in return, not even acknowledgement. I love you, Anonymous. I have no less affection for any of our team supporters, but in my circle, a thousand dollars is a big chunk of change. Someone saw to it that one thousand dollars got directed to me. To ME! To us. I said this last year, and I’ll implore you again: please tell me who you are. I’ll keep it between us, I promise. Please let me thank you properly. Although, seriously? How could I possibly do this right? The mystery is a delight and a fright at once. What if I was a complete crab the last time we met? What if I seemed unappreciative in some way? Know that I’m grateful beyond words. I tried last year and failed, and I’m failing again to put it in print. Thank you.
Remember what I always say, kids: Second row is not the front row. THIS is where you want to be standing to see your favorite band perform. Front and center two nights in a row was quite a coup. For the record, the band is of course HAPPY to see us, not scared as some of you have suggested. Well, they’re probably happy anyway. Wouldn’t you want to see smiling faces hanging on your every note down in front?
I want to tell you about my weekend. ALL about my weekend. I could relate every detail, every nuance, every tossed monkey and undergarment (even the one Nikki put on my head Saturday night), but as the song goes, it’s all been done. It’s etched in my memory and in my heart. My band performed MY SONG Friday and Saturday evenings, and I swear, my heart was teenage dreamy fluttery the instant Ed hit the first note. I couldn’t breathe. And yeah, I’ve heard it live before a handful of times. I just needed it now. Tyler gave me a shout-out from the stage at the very end of the evening Friday, and my cheeks still hurt from the hours-long smile that’d been pasted on. My girls. My friends. My band. My song. Geez, apparently I have petulant toddler issues. Me, my, mine! I do understand that pronouns other than “my” exist. Just not in this context. Girls, I miss you acutely. Guys, see you again in May. I’m sure you’re just as excited to see me as I am to see you. Wait, what?
Because the odds are that we will probably be all right, I did land safely back in MKE Sunday evening. And what to my wondering eyes does appear? The three loves of my life, hanging outside baggage claim, each poised with a bouquet of posies. Tulips–my flower of choice and a beautiful reminder of renewal and hope.
And plastic spiders. Because this is what my younger son and I do. He totally started it, but I totally continued it, and now we wage war nightly over who can deposit the spider more plausibly or more sneakily to try scare the shit out of the other. Because I am a GOOD MOTHER! But look at the sweet little note Mr. Spider left me under my pillow. My baby? My love for that kid is greater than gravity.
My original intent was to end on a downer, because that’s how I felt Sunday, as I sat alone in the airport awaiting my return flight. I love and already missed my #Ladiesladies SO MUCH, but then remembered that going home meant I could see the boys I love and missed SO MUCH. Sometimes life shakes out a lovely symmetry. I’m not down. I can’t maintain holy crap up either, but I’m OK. I’ll be OK. What’s the collective noun for people I love? My tribe? My family? My love? Yes.