So I’ve been offline for some time. Well over two months have staggered on by, it appears, since I contributed anything new in these here parts. Not because the well has run dry, mind you. But because the well is full up. So many seismic and poignant events have transpired within my family over the past 60 days. Hospice bedside vigils, east coast boarding school enrollments, sudden and unexpected health scares. All of this has effectively paralyzed me, writing-wise. I fear I am not up to the task of articulating the enormity of these life-ending and life-changing developments. Perhaps some things are best left unremarked upon. At least in the context of this self-indulgent blog. So many complex thoughts swimming in my head begging to be unpacked and sorted out. I’m stuck.
And then this morning, my 11 year-old snaps me out of my ink-slinging stupor. Subtly reminding me that even when the shit hits the fan — and perhaps especially when the shit hits the fan — a little levity can be a wonderful thing.
In the course of our morning pre-work and pre-school ablutions, I teasingly asked my hairdryer-wielding wife, “Hey hon, what’s it like to be married to an Adonis?” I had just caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. Thinning hair mussed and parted in the middle like a geriatric Alfalfa. Eyelids half-mast. Featuring boxer shorts that merited a toss in the hamper 3 days ago.
Hilary showed mercy and more or less ignored my rhetorical query; Solidarity in our shared journey of 25 years now, both painfully aware that our collective and respective wheels have long since come off.
Thankfully, my son Everett’s wheels remain intact. On his blue, electric flowboard. On the tiles of our bathroom floor. There are days when I suspect his actual feet might not make actual contact with the actual floor. Hovering unsettlingly in one room or another. At this moment when Hil and I struggle a bit to steel ourselves for another day, our motorized Everett says, “Excuse me, Adonis.” Then he rolls on by.
With those three words, Ev reminded me that everything will be OK, even when things couldn’t seem further from OK. Even when you hold your mother-in-law’s warm hand during the last hours of her life. Even when you embrace your wife with a full body hug, over and over again, as she grapples with the loss of her mom. Even when you prepare to send your firstborn 3,000 miles away to a new school — fleeing the coop far earlier than you fear you can withstand. And even when your own parents’ recent health scares reinforce the inevitable but unwelcome specter of their mortality. Everything will be OK, Adonis. Excuse me. Get out of your own way, too, while you’re at it. And get back to finding reasons to laugh.
Thank you, son. And thanks for reading.