Whip Me Up

It was the first thing I noticed this morning as I dragged my weary bones out of bed.  That unmistakable autumn howl here in New England.  An eerie, echoing wind that is difficult to do justice if you don’t already know its sound.  

It whips around, weaving in and out of the cookie-cutter ranch homes on our street.  It lifts the reddened leaves from the pavement and scatters them elsewhere.  I can smell the wind slipping in through the cracks around our doors and windows and I think to myself that perhaps it will be a very cold winter this year.  

But today looks as though it will be a beautiful day – dotted high clouds and a sharp crisp in the air.  But I’m not buying it.  I am angry.  I feel battered and beaten. 

I know how to make good from the bad.  I have had lots of practice in the last several years.  I really do often fight the urge to complain, rather I embrace the suckage and try to find the silver lining.  That damned silver lining. 

We have had success at hockey games before with RM, but this time she unraveled right before my eyes – and so did I.  It didn’t matter what I had packed in to make her comfortable or whether I bought her soda – or a doughnut – or a pony at that point – it just was physically painful for her.  But we had rinkside seats yesterday that were a gracious gift from dear friends and The Boy had nearly shat himself with excitement to experience a game all up in his face.  So when RM began screaming NO!!! I took her out into the concourse to give her a chance to regroup.  It never happened. 

I felt like one of those color-streaked leaves being lifted and slammed onto the pavement – over and over again.  I can only imagine how much more painful it was for my baby girl.  

Silver lining.  Silver lining. 

Ok.  There was a silver lining to my baby’s pain yesterday.  Unfortunately for her, it was the joy that hockey game brought to her brother.  It was the small amount of time that The Boy and his Daddy sat together on the glass and watched two awesome fights break out right in front of their eyes.  It was the soda and popcorn and fist-pumping and cheering that The Boy ate up like candy.  

And it was the comfort I witnessed as The Boy took RM’s hand in the car on the ride home and just held it for a spell.  That damned silver lining was there in the moments of conversation that evening with The Boy and the opportunity to hear him recap the 2nd Period and how the glass shook from the glorious violence of a great game of hockey.  I watched and listened as his face glowed while he spewed all the gory details. 

 Then The Boy’s tears came and I panicked and my heart pounded as I thought Dear GOD, what next?  I cannot take any more suffering tonight!  “I felt so sorry that you and [RM] were stuck out in the lobby that whole time.  I’m sad that she hurt.” 

Silver lining.  Silver lining. 

“I get that, Snugglebear.  But you listen to me and you promise me something, ok?  Don’t you ever feel sorry for your sister.  Not ever.  She is happy.  And she is perfect just like you.  And she hurts sometimes, yes, just like you.  But don’t you ever feel sorry for her.”

I grabbed my son’s increasingly large and lanky body up into my arms and squeezed him so tight.  I felt so close to him and suddenly so relieved that this moment had come to me – a silver lining – out of a day of pain. 

The Boy loves his baby sister and I am really so blessed.  No matter the winds that howl around us and threaten to whip us up and batter our hearts – there are beautiful days ahead.  I will spend a little more time today being angry and feeling beaten because I am allowed to do so.  We all are.  But then I will step outside and welcome the sun once again. 

It’s what I do.

 

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About Rachel Kenyon

Rachel Kenyon is an Aspie, Advocate and single mom of two beautiful babes - The Boy (11) and RM (8). The Boy is a Legomaniac and RM is a kick-ass diva with Autism and 4q Deletion Syndrome. View all posts by Rachel Kenyon

13 responses to “Whip Me Up

  • Jersey

    And you do it with beauty and grace.

    Love you!!!!

  • akbutler

    Your ability to see that silver lining is what I love most about you. It inspires me to find my own every day. Sometimes it’s the little gestures – the hand holding, or the smile, or the tears – that mean the most.
    Meeting you has been my silver lining. Love you.

  • RachelB

    The silver lining…the simple things we cling to when everything is spiraling out of control! Thank you so much for reminding me, for sharing this!

  • Joyce Silverman

    Rachel you are such an inspiration….I wish words came to me as easily as they do for you…I can’t express myself in that way….so sometimes things come out abruptly….I figured you were down on the ice….I would have loved that incidentally….the attention goes to your son right now and what he has to deal with daily….in the end it will make him a better person because there’s no time for anger here….at least not for long….you were torn three ways….his, hers and daddy’s….guess that’s why they call you warriors…..sigh….big hugs

  • therocchronicles

    Brought tears to my eyes mama. Sorry it was so hard for RM and for you to watch her in pain. I just love your ability to see the silver lining. Sometimes it’s so faint, but it’s often there. Love you.

  • Angela F.

    That silver lining is worth its weight in gold.

  • Aimee Velazquez

    I am so sorry for what you endured. Your metaphor encapsulates it so beautifully. That howl, and the whip are, as you said it, unmistakable. I’m in awe of your craft today, in the way that your words paint such a vivid picture. And too in awe of your ability to see that silver lining. Such rare gifts in a New England gal…poetic prose and optimism. You’re a gift. xoxo.

  • Niksmom

    It was your son’s tears which completely undid me. The generosity of his love for his baby sister is precious and beautiful. I imagine he’s learned it well at his mama’s knee. xo

  • Mrs. Sergeant Major

    I’m pretty overwhelmed at the love and support you all share with me. THAT is a gift.

    Thank you. xo

  • mom-nos

    This is gorgeous.

    I am constantly reminded that if it weren’t for autism, I would never have met some of the people who have come to mean the most to me – you included. I love those damned silver linings.

  • rhemashope

    The Boy holding RM’s hand in the car – that touched my heart so. There *is* a beauty in the whipping around of those color-streaked leaves. Just as it’s so clear to see the beautiful moments – even in the pain – of these days with your sweet boy and girl.

  • Rachel

    sending an online hug….and just wanted to say that your words were beautiful! go mama go!

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