We were finishing our fourth lap around the Farm Park and Dave said one thing. I lost my mind and then wanted to punch him in the mouth. I am a lot like Eli or is he a lot like me? Instead of punching Big Daddy in the mouth I said, “I am driving home. You take the kids in your car. I will make dinner. Goodbye.” I kept my word, got in my car and drove away.
On this chilly spring evening our conversation was beautiful, interesting and profound. Occasionally Kyle would locate us, zoom past on his new Rollerblades, stop and wait. “Mom. Dad. I wanted to see how far ahead you could get before I could catch up and then pass you. Have you been watching?”
“Yes. I could see you from way back there. You are awesome, Kyle! You are really good on those things.”
He is really good on those things! After he passed us a second time, Kyle said with utter delight, “Mom, these Rollerblades fit perfectly! I got them at a garage sale.”
To which Dave responded, “It is pretty amazing. We did not just get them at a garage sale,” and he laughed, “You know how at the end of a garage sale they have all of the leftover stuff that they are giving away for free? The Rollerblades were part of the Free stuff.”
“Nice! I love it!”
We could have paid $200.00 for those Rollerblades yet I do not think a pretty new pair of skates would have done anything to increase Kyle’s joy.
Aside from skating around our crazy driveway, our trip to the Farm Park was Kyle’s first big go round on his brand new Rollerblades. As he came up to a hill, I anticipated his crash. Seriously, in my mind I saw him completely wiping out, bloodied and then having to call 911.
“Yes! Yes! He is twelve. My son. Yes! He took the hill too fast and crashed. We are at the Farm Park. I see bones! I see bones. Hurry!”
Instead, I took a deep breath, kept my mouth shut and kept my motherly vision to myself. On this Rollerblading Maiden Voyage Kyle also learned how to use the brakes. Dave instructed him, “See? They are on the right. Put your right foot forward.” I saw Dave’s word connect as Kyle moved his right foot forward and brake and then move his right foot forward and stop.
“Dad. I can feel it up here,” he said as he pointed to the top of his skate. I was mesmerized. I wanted to learn how to brake. I thought of my own roller blading experience all those years ago. Dave and I were Rollerblading late one summer evening in very conservative Provo, UT. It was after midnight and I wiped out in front of someone’s house. I felt my fear and heard myself screaming, “Oh #@$&!” as I crashed and landed on my knee. Then I heard the sweet old lady’s voice, “Is everything ok out there?” Mortified by my strong language and grateful for her kindness, I said, “Yes. Yes. We are ok. Thank you!”
I watched Kyle prepare, come up to the hill, way too fast, in my opinion. “Mom, watch me go down. I will let you get ahead. I don’t want to crash into you,” he said as he started down. He wobbled for a second, extended his arms and immediately regained his footing. It was beautiful! I envied, I mean, really envied his superb balance.
Eventually he skated his way back to the park and back to Eli, who was playing basketball with another kid.
Dave and I continued walking and talking. We were nearly finished with our four long laps. One word led to another and the switch flipped. I did not like what he had to say. “I don’t like what you said.” I said as I left the park, made dinner and went up to bed. I spent the evening mad and annoyed. I told Dave I felt like nothing.
“I am nothing! I am good at dishes. I am good at making sure the laundry is done, but I am not good at being me.”
He looked at me and I continued, “On my grave it will say, she was good at cleaning her house and her husband, well, he was amazing! He built that house.”
I wasn’t going to write tonight. I thought my words could wait until tomorrow. I was up in bed, fast asleep and then Kyle started screaming, I mean, singing at the top of his lungs. I was awake and I could not will myself back to sleep. I tried. I made my way to the kitchen, did the dishes while Kyle came and talked to me. I went downstairs and asked Eli to put a bunch of stuff away that he had left out. He looked at me and said,
“Mom. I need something. You know what it is. I need a hug!”
Aside from smashing his ribs in with my zipper pull, it was a good hug. I love that kid!
Eli knows how to break down my walls and with that I decided to pull myself out of my anger, come up to my computer and write. I thought my words would be angry. I was still feeling angry, but as soon as I started thinking about Kyle and his crazy Garage-Sale Rollerblades, I could not feel sorry for myself anymore. Kyle made my day, Eli broke down my walls and Dave made my night. As I sat here typing Dave came up and said,
“I am sorry!”
And I said,
“I am sorry too!”
This is life in my fast lane, a lane, full of bumps, bruises, well loaded dishwashers, zipper-pull hugs and forgiveness!