Thursday, 13 February 2014

This is two.

Riding the waves, we are now on the crest of two.  Froth and foam roiling around us.  We paddle, we pop up, we ride.  Sunny sunny day and we ride.

This is two.  We are here now.

This is two.

He is sleeping.  Twelve and a half hours from now is two years to the minute that we first saw him.  Outside, in the world.  Fists clenched in rage.  Face in full boo boo.  Pissed off.  Cold.  He didn't cry for ages.  When he finally did cry, so did I.  No tears painted T's face but I could see them in his heart.  I could feel them, warm and salty, the joy and the agony of the experience.  The fear so deep, the moment so intense, and now he is here.

"The baby is born," said the doctor.  Like something holy.  The oddity of that particular statement was not lost.  It resonates, still.

Rukai waited so long to cry. And he cried so little.  Still cries so little.  Yet for two years, in many ways, I haven't stopped.

Some of these tears sorrow.  Too many.  Too many in fear.  But far, far more in total bliss.  Pride.  Disbelief.  Shock and awe and awwwww.

And pride.
And pride.
And pride.

They tell you "he CAN'T."
They tell you "he WON'T."
They tell you what he ISN'T and what he IS.
They tell you what they think and what they suspect.
And you think "go away with all your grey, we are living for TODAY."

And he grows.  For two years he grows.  And he thrives.  And he replies.

I can.  (Try me.)
I will.  (Watch me.)
I am NOT Nothing, No One, Problem, Flaw, Fault, Defect.
I AM.  (Amazing.)
I AM.  (Rukai.)

They tell you what they tell you and yet you know from the get that they know so little.  Because you are Mama.  You just know.

And here we are two years hence.  The fear is not a blaze today.  The fear has dwindled to a drip, to a minor irritation like a leaky tap.  A tiny muffled croak like a frog hiding in a wheat field.  Of rain as spittle.  This is no longer a torrential downpour.

We humans fear the unknown, and for all intents and purposes we should be consumed with fear.  Fear from the "what ifs" and the "maybes" and the "mosts" and "we thinks".

But we are not afraid because, simply, he IS.

And he is Rukai.
And he is ours.
And he is amazing.
And he is two.

I bid him goodnight earlier and found myself not saying 'sweet dreams', but rather 'dream big'.

Dream big.

Yes.  Sunny sunny day and we ride.

This is two.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Today is a good day to rise.

The puck races past. Past the guy blocking our view. I hear my father shouting 'down in front!' A few choice words punctuate, but these are not necessary here.

This memory delivered Dad's latest gift. "Put it down," says he.

"Put it DOWN. You know what that anger brought to me. Lost time. Don't waste any more time because it is precious. Put down those people who suck your life away from you with their uninformed accusations and false assumptions. With their jealousy and desperate need to control you. Put them down and out of your life. Leave in it nothing more than the love you give, and those YOU love.

And the Blackhawks. Leave in the Blackhawks."

And just like that, one memory rescued my water-treading self out of the Dirty Water Pool and froze that sucker over. Turned that murky pool to ice, and the memory of a long ago hockey game. Me and my Dad watching my brother and his wicked slap shot from the red line. Still you give, Dad. More than you know.

Down in front, please.

Dad is just under a year gone. A year before he left, Rukai came. Rukai came, and Rukai has Down's syndrome. Rukai has Down's syndrome but Down's syndrome does not have Rukai. Don't believe it? Don't know Rukai then.

Dad gone a year, Rukai here for two. Life rolls.

Rukai's tomorrow is full of Dad's past, is full of our present. We have shared our family's first two years at the Dirty Water Pool. Two years with way too much helplessness and hopelessness and angst and anger churning around in the muck, all which we will try to put down. We will try to put it down and rise. Because it is time.

Today we ask something so little from so many. So little but so difficult to achieve.

Down in front, please, because frankly you are blocking Rukai's view. Sit down in front so he can catch sight of that magical puck racing by and laugh and wonder when he can try on some skates and fly on after it.

Sit down in front so he may clearly see his path.
Sit down in front so he can visualize his journey and bring us along with him.
Sit down in front so you do not prevent his progress. If you do, he will climb over you. He will do it his way. Just like grandpa.

Sit down in front of him before you judge. Before you assume. Before you throw him away.
Sit down in front of him and watch and listen and learn. It is only then that you may opine.

Stop towering over him and forcing him into your shadow. He's not fond of darkness, for he is light.

Sit down in front, please.

Sit down and let him feel the sun on his face. Like Dad did on his last outing. The sun that clears our vision, and dries the rain and raises freckles and delivers us our summer. The sun that warms our tired aching bones.

Sit down in front, please, and watch him rise.