I’m sitting on the floor in my bedroom. Declan’s napping. Makenna’s taking in her daily allotment of Arthur. Sitting on the floor, so as not to get my bed all sweaty, as I just finished a hellish run on the treadmill. I did something crazy and signed myself up for a 5K run in October. So now I have to actually learn how to run, as opposed to just the interval sprints that I’ve been doing.
I’ve been breezing through the C25K program, but today was a tough one. It’s the middle of the afternoon and terribly hot. I haven’t been feeling 100%. My feet felt heavy. My legs felt slow. My head wasn’t in it. I don’t usually listen to music when I run, because it’s always when Declan is sleeping. But I found the headphones for my cell phone and decided to use some music to help fuel this run. Though, it didn’t help too much. I struggled through… and then a song came on. A country song (note to self: download some good running music). A song that has resonated with me since Declan came along. I don’t know why I connect the two, the song being a somewhat patriotic American song describing those “undesirable” fly over states between NYC and LA. But it gets me. It came on right at the end of my run and it lit something inside of me. I finished faster, stronger.
Of course, it has nothing to do with the U.S. and those (I’m sure) lovely states. But everything to do with my little man.
Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms,
Man, it all looks the same,
Miles and miles of back roads and highways,
Connecting little towns with funny names,
Who’d want to live down there in the middle of nowhere?
As much as I’ve decided to let go of what people think of me, I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, crosses people’s minds when they learn of Declan’s condition. Are they just curious? Pitiful? Sad for me? Happy? Are they glad it’s not them? Maybe nothing at all.
I read ‘Bloom’ as soon as the hardcover was released. I was looking forward to it, having followed Kelle’s blog for 2+ years prior to her writing the book. The timing was remarkable. It was released when Declan was just a couple of months old. This quote is from chapter 4, describing when the author’s sister visited her in the hospital shortly after she gave birth to her second child, who was surprisingly born with Down syndrome.
My sister told me she wished I could see what she saw–because what she saw was wonderful. She said I was lucky–that I’d been offered a shortcut to what life is all about when some people search for it their whole lives and never know. She said I had a secret–a secret to happiness and that, while people may look at me and pity me, in time I’d feel like I knew something they didn’t.
I truly feel this way. I don’t know how it came to be; there was no pep-talking myself…this was just the way it was going to be. I’ve thought that it’s maybe some sort of therapeutic coping mechanism. But…nope. It’s simply the way I feel, and I can’t imagine it any other way. And I feel lucky. So incredibly lucky to be given this. To be given him.
They’ve never drove through Indiana,
Met the men who plowed that earth,
Planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me,
Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas,
They’d understand why god made
Those fly over states
On the plains of Oklahoma
With a windshield sunset in your eyes
Like a water-colored painted sky
You’ll think heaven’s doors have opened
You’ll understand why god made
Those fly over states