August 24, 2009
My sister has asked me to do an entry that features a topic that many of my readers who have connections to pediatric cancer will find familiar, and because that group has both experience with the topic and are, in general, made of hearty stock, they would not faint nor shrink away. However, some of my readers are, let's say, less experienced, so to protect their innocence as well as their squeamishness, I will speak (write) obliquely. You may still want to skip this entry entirely.
If I were to write this entry:
I would tell you about what happened when my fifth-grade self ate two and a half dozen batter-fried shrimp.
And about the night my freshman year in high school when I traveled with the varsity track team. We stopped at a diner for a late night supper. . .teens at one long table, adults across the room. I was pumped to be with the team (mostly very handsome, cool, fit, young men), but also uncharacteristically shy. At some point during the meal, I glanced towards the adult table and saw one of the men resting his elbow on the table and his cheek on his hand. He had a lit cigarette between "tall man" and "pointer." I've seen pictures of people with tracheotomies, smoking through the hole in their neck, but I had never seen someone smoking out of their ear. This cracked me up just as I took a very large swig of tea. I lost my breath and couldn't control my laughter, and in a matter of moments, I had blessed the table.
I also painted all the walls in our bathroom once, when in my great rush to make it in time, I ran, grabbed the doorjam for leverage, spun myself around, and managed to do what divers and skaters would consider a 360. I don't think a shotgun or machine pistol could match my range.
Not that all the stories I have about this topic involve me. I was once the designated driver for my friends who went to the hurricane races. On the way home, I checked my rearview mirror and noticed one of them had undressed and was holding all her clothes out the open window about to drop them out. Luckily, I had spare workout clothes in the trunk.
Davis had the inauspicious luck to get sick at school on the first day of fourth grade. I barely convinced him to go back when he felt better. At the time he thought he would prefer going through the remainder of his life with a third grade (plus half a day) education. I suppose that would have saved on college tuition.
Erin, of course, had her own experiences with "sharing" and her own way of talking about it. None, however, were as cute as my four-year-old niece's comment last week, when she explained to my mother that "There I was, and my beef stew just came jumping out of my mouth."
Okay, I'm sorry. I should have kept all this to myself, but I had to share.