My son and I went for a walk last night.
We talked a lot while we were strolling. He likes to talk. One of his favorite things to do is plop down next to you, wherever you are, and ask, “So, what do you want to talk about?” He gets his chattiness from me, for certain. Lately our conversations are all about his behavior and it’s not a pleasant topic, so last night I tried to let him enjoy himself without discussing, what has become, this disruption in our lives.
We didn’t really know where we were walking; there was no destination in mind, no idea where we would turn off the path and exclaim, “This seems a good place to stop.” We just went where our feet took us.
We laughed at dogs playing, we talked to our neighbors, we stopped to watch the ducks swimming and get a glimpse of our reflections in the pond. We were happy. There are few things that bring me as much joy as my daughter’s laugh or an authentic smile on my son’s face.
My son wore his plaid fisherman’s hat and I carried bottle water and a chestful of overwhelming guilt and confusion. As if my own weight weren’t enough!
Our life, in this moment, bears many resemblances to walking out the front door into the unknown. Private school? Public school? Therapy? Meds? What will it take? I like to be prepared when venturing into battle and right now, well…I might as well be going up against a fire-breathing dragon armed with nothing but 16.2 ounces of spring water. But, one way or another, I will slay that sucker. You can be sure of that.
We saw some strange things on our walk; a bird’s foot, lots of goose poop, a wrapped tampon laying in the road, which is far better than an unwrapped tampon, I can assure you. And, we saw beautiful things too; like the blue sky, trees in bloom, and a man sitting on his front porch reading to his wife.
As we have for the past 11 years, we find ourselves on a journey for which we have no map. It’s hard to be lost, but I hope more than anything that my son will be smiling along the way.