Sunday, October 3, 2010

D Day Minus 161: (September 28, 2009): Wisdom and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“My arms are so so sore. I can barely move them.” I complained, dragging my zebra rollaround behind me.  I got to work early this morning so I’d have time to do P90X before we caught our flight from Dulles to Houston.  Today was Shoulders and Arms and boy did I feel it.  My arms ached, but at least they didn’t slow me down.  I still kept up with you as we made our way to the People Movers.  I bragged about how efficient we had become getting through security and didn’t notice the motorized cart, like Grandma and Grandpa rode when they flew to Roanoke, blazing at full speed on my right.  You nudge me out of the way and said, “Be careful, Mom.  I need you around.”  I smiled guiltily.  You shook your head like I'd be the death of you. What can I say?  I had a lot of things going on in my head.  Besides, I knew I’d be okay. I had protectors.  If it wasn’t you, then it was Dad.  If it wasn’t Dad, then it was Morgan. If it wasn’t one of you guys, it was some kind stranger.  I was lucky that way.  Or maybe it was Hannah, my guardian angel.  My smiled stayed put. It only got goofier and guiltier as we navigated through the obstacle course of passengers and their physical and emotional baggage. 

“I’m really tired.” You said stifling a yawn so big Dad would have said it looked like the Grand Canyon.  We arrived at the People Mover with two minutes to spare according to the digital clock that counted down seconds to its departure. 

“I’m tired too.” I said trying to bait you into a ‘tired off’ but you wouldn’t bite, not even a nibble.  Instead you led the way to the seats near the back of the People Mover. 

“I thought you stayed in Bassett after seeing Brian Regan’s show at the Civic Center so you could rest up." I said, playing a game of peekaboo with a cute little baby who had brown hair and eyes. Peekaboo baby reminded me of Morgan when she was nine months. 

“That was the plan.” You said, rubbing the back of your neck with your right hand. “But Katie wanted to talk.  So we talked almost all night. Then I didn’t sleep very well because I was afraid I’d oversleep and not make it back in time for our flight.”

“You’re quite the party animal.” I teased. 

“Not really.  We talked about the big stuff – religion, relationships, cancer, and treatment. The future! I was tired from working earlier in the day at Wegmans and driving down to Roanoke. But, I wanted to be there for Katie.” You said as peekaboo baby infected you with a smile.  

“Did you?” I asked. You didn't answer.  You just looked a little confused, so I added.  “Make Katie feel better?”

“I tried.” You said.

“I hope you didn’t say that you didn’t believe in God and that it wasn’t up to you to make her feel better.” I said raising an eyebrow as memories of missteps and misunderstanding of your past flooded in.   You unintentionally tried to push your views on others and were so logical in explaining that you can’t make a person happy unless they are happy with themselves.   

“I understand where you are coming from.  You have your own beliefs and are very spiritual.  You know there is more. But you don’t follow an organized religion, which is your choice.  You need to be respectful of her choices, because they work for her. And the more you try to explain that it isn’t your job to make her happy. The more you sound like an ass.  I know you're not, but it gets interpreted like you don't care which is far from the truth. Especially when you try to explain it.  You end up digging yourself in a deeper hole.  It's all in the delivery and letting go and not having to be right.“  I said trying to keep my voice down so the lady with all the stinky perfume a couple of seats down couldn’t hear.  She had that eavesdropping look.  You noticed it too.

“I know. I know.” You said grasping the handle of your carry on.  “Words don’t teach. Life does.” I kept my mouth shut because eavesdropper lady was getting nosier.  Plus, the ride was bumpy and I had to concentrate to stay seated. 

Right before the People Mover's door opened at the terminal.  I leaned in close to your ear, remembering your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle character, Michelangelo.  I pretended to be Splinter, the sensei. I bowed just like he did before he shared some wisdom with the Turtles -- Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatelo. Then, I whispered, “Michelangelo, the student becomes the teacher.”  You nodded and broke out in a big smile. Then we headed off to find food for you and contraband for me. 

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