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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Maybe It WAS The Best Day Ever

I tried yesterday. I wanted my kids to say this was the best day ever. But there was the 9-year-old with the mind of a 2-year-old, tantruming before the violin, piano and gymnastics recitals. Hateful words catapulted over the glossy mahogany kitchen counter, objects flew, drowning my hopes, sailing through the air to crash into a new mess.

My two youngest children hid under the desk, like part of a fire drill they had practiced too many times. One needing his cherry violin, all shiny and ready to play. Another dressed in her neon green gymnastics suit, fitted to cartwheel for recital guests. I shuffled them out the door, my fake smile attempting to comfort, smeared with pink lipstick. I quietly pointed to the car, asking my husband to take them away.

Take them to a joyful place where smiling children play songs for grinning parents.

Take them to a jubilant place where hands clap and voices cheer for little bodies.

Take them to a loving place where families hug, where pink and yellow flowers wait.

They left. And I sat with my boy, his mind slowing— finally.  His thoughts landed like a glider descending upon a high meadow, making barely a sound. And together we breathed.

Eventually we rode to the first recital. In the dusty parking lot of the church, we changed his shirt, and gently flattened his hair. We were late, and the old lady at the creaky door looked disapproving.

It didn’t matter. Our family was happy we made it.

His head slumped as he walked down the aisle with hair hanging over his eyes. He sat sideways on the bench all alone, ready to perform. We waited with cameras pointed as his creamy fingers danced across black and white keys, playing jazz notes, all in order, making patterns of sound, making sense of his mind.

Lips curved up and hands smacked together, applauding as he bent forward into an elegant final bow.  

There smiled a boy whose mind could hardly dare leave our house.

There stood a boy whose fingers had just tapped hundreds of notes, sailing through a room, entering stiff ears, painting smiles on still faces. 

There stood a boy, delivering light, pouring hope, for a few minutes, to his mom.

Maybe this really was the best day ever.

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