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.