Monday, April 10, 2006

Heading South...

...a departure from the norm.

Sunday I hit the road...destination Ardmore, America, to pick up my daughter.
It was a lovely, perfect day for a road trip.

As I drove along the highway admiring the long stretches of fields and tree-covered hills, I noticed my mind was brimming over with things.
Just things that needed to be thought.

So I allowed my mind to be lulled by the hum of the tires on the road, half-hypnotized by the road before me...the sounds of the radio faded into the background...
...most of my brain was still on my driving, still registering the dead coyote on the side of the road...
...the scorchmarks on the earth from the raging wildfires...
...the bright new green growth inside the burned patches, so much richer than the untouched grass...
...the fields of rock and cactus...
...six circling buzzards dancing their intricate dance on the wind, marking the kill...

And the rest of my mind was somewhere in the back, with these things tumbling over themselves like rocks in a polisher.
Every so often one of these things would pop out, half-finished, inscribed with a title.
The most persistent of these was "Things That Get My Goat".

Which is funny because I don't even have a goat...hyuk hyuk hyuk.

One of the largest things that Gets My nonexistent Goat is Questions To Which I Have No Answer.

Or more accurately, Questions To Which I Must Answer 'I Don't Know'.
I really, really dislike those questions.
They Get My Goat.

You, being removed from the situation, may consider these questions petty or most likely you will say "Couldn't you find something real to be annoyed about? Why let this little thing bother you? Don't you have bigger issues to deal with?"
You may be correct.
But still, it is My Goat that Is Getting Got, so there.

Most of these Questions To Which I Have No Answer are regarding my son.

My son, although 11, is like an infant.
I have been living with an infant for 11 years.
He cannot sit up.
Nor feed himself.
Nor hold a cup.
Nor walk, nor talk, nor do anything a baby over 6 months old can do.

He is allergic to so very many things...enough so that his skin will break out if I kiss him after eating ice cream.
He has a hyper-sensitive gag reflex, and doesn't chew well.

He can roll over.
He can laugh.
He can grab my hand and bring it to his face.
He can make me love him with a ferocity that you may never know.

I change diapers.
I feed him.
I hold the cup.
I carry and lift him to get him where he needs to be.

These are simply the facts, not a plea for pity or sympathy.

This is my job, and I embrace it willingly and lovingly.

To the Goat Getting Questions...
However well-meant, friendly, or simply curious they are, they ring with audaciousness in my ears:

"Oh [Monty], whatever will you do when he gets too heavy to lift?"

...I don't know

"How will you manage when he gets too tall?"

...I don't know

"When will you..."
"How do you..."
"What can you..."

...I don't know

The Goat Getting is so much worse when it is my own mind betraying me by asking those awful, awful Questions.

Somedays the I Don't Know is so strong that I want to cry in frustration.
Pound things.
I want to turn in my SuperMom tights and cape because

How do I get past it?

And then there are the Grocery Store Questions, which sort of fall under the same category...except it is called the Answers Plus Explanations category.
I make most of my son's food~
Wanna try some?
Green beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and chicken...
Put in a food processor and blend.
Yum yum.

But he needs I buy jars of (baby) fruit.

And then the checkout line.

And then the inevitable "Oh, how old is your baby?"

And then the do I lie to save the explanation? or do I just say '11' and endure THE LOOK? or do I pretend I didn't hear and hope they get the message?

...I don't know

And then I send this thing back into the depths, as the soft hiss and crackle of white noise causes my whole brain to re-engage once again.

I have lost the station.

"Baby, I'd love you to want me
The way that I want you
The way that it should be
Baby, you'd love me to want you
The way that I want to
If you'd only let it be"

On the way I stopped at a special place to touch a memory.

Of course, the journey home was somewhat lengthier with the Speedometer Police riding shotgun.
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