I begged Steve to “switch” as my head was throbbing. Jacob only wants me and its not a “mama” sweet snuggle moment, it’s SCREAMING, “MOM!” Every 10 seconds. So full of anger. Full of anger. And there is no soothing. He just wants to scream. Oh I get it. I want to scream too.
We forget that this boy is five as he speaks adult. His vocabulary includes words like platelets, “counts”, and all the medical jargon he spits out as simply talking about school. And he is angry. Angry he has to sit. Angry he can’t swim. He is having a five-year-old tantrum on top of it all and its not pretty. It’s deafening actually.
Steve disappears to have a go with Jacob.
He comes back in 3 minutes.
He has bribed them.
Both children. Bought each of them a toy on Amazon. I’m not pleased. The last thing they need is toys. We are up to our heads in toys and I’m not a believer in extrinsic motivations, but it’s not worth fighting about. Those things don’t matter anymore.
Defeated, I ask, “Where are we going?”
Steve takes my hand and we board the tender.
And we go! NO! We don’t go. We FLY.
Not just fast, but dangerously fast.
We’re on the fringe. Steve and I together living on the fringe. And I can’t even explain it. But it feels like flying, flying above it all.
There are waves, other boats, but we pay them no regard. We plow ahead. Full throttle ahead. There is no other speed, but maximum. We may be small, just a small dingy, but yet we feel mighty. The fastest. The biggest even.
I feel the air under me. I feel Steve’s energy as he navigates the water. The frenetic energy of danger. The feeling of having nothing to lose.
And we GO far! We Fly away.
I put on music, obviously shuffle, and I hear “Hello” from Adelle and it makes me sad. Right there flying. It reminds me how I’m on this “other side” and I can’t connect with anyone really. And then I notice them. Dead fish. Every two minutes or so I see a dead fish. And everything has meaning right now. I’m so vulnerable. Why all the dead fish?
And I start to spin. Why?! Why the dead fish? Why the screaming? Why any of this?!!!!
And it hits me. It’s so clear.
I get to make a decision. I have had control the whole time.
I fast-forward. I skip.
I decided to take control of this shuffled life. Take control of the anomalies. I keep pressing forward, skipping songs, until I found a song that matched what I WANTED TO FEEL. What I KNOW I’m feeling.
“Brand New” by Ben Rector came on. Not a major fan. Not a theme song, by any means, but it feels right.
“I feel like taking chances. I feel a lot like 17.”
And I did. I felt 17.
“I feel like anything can happen.”
Yes. That’s how I feel. I feel like anything can happen. I feel like doing something stupid. I feel young and stupid. I feel free.
And we ride. We don’t speak. We just ride.
“Feel like the first time ,in a long time, I’m not afraid.”
I’m not afraid. There is nothing scary about this. I’m sure others would be screaming, but I know fear, I’ve seen fear. I am staring it in the eye everyday. This is not fear, this is living.
I just want to go FASTER!
Then I have a request. I want to stop.