Sometimes I find little gems in the quiet crevices of my mind. I call them gems, but they don’t sparkle. They glare. Glaring epiphanies I’d rather not know.
These days, I avoid silence, because I’m afraid of what gems I might find. I don’t want to get quiet enough to absorb the gravity of my ten-year-old boy’s surgery, how they’re going to break his ankle, insert fake bones, pull his fascia like rubber bands, and move ligaments and tendons around like chess pieces, strategizing.
I don’t want to picture both his legs in heavy casts, the color of his choosing. I don’t want to see the pump dispensing pain medication, or even a whisper of a wince on his young face. Most of all I don’t want to think about how all this surgery, while bringing him mobility, will not cure him. How it actually has nothing to do with coaxing his nerves to fire to his muscles, but in the best case, will fix the damage the root problem has caused. The problem it’s caused thus far.
So, I’ve let my mind take a hiatus in the form of nine seasons worth of a sixteen episode per season, forty minute show on Netflix. It’s taking a very long time to get through, which reminds me of everything I’m avoiding.
When I do force my body to sit and close my eyes and strong-arm my thoughts into the present moment, I usually find something I hadn’t been looking for. Like guilt. Or victimhood. Or any number of ugly behaviors in which I’ve indulged due to dwelling unconsciously in these states of being.
I also find the defeating thoughts I’m having and how they contribute to my days.
When I think about that, I become aware of other thoughts I might choose, like the potential joy of seeing my son run. Or the fun we’ll have hanging out together with no other duties except for him to recoup, and the forced end to my relentless to-do list. Or the advances in medical science, and the endless possibilities. Or when I’m earnestly doing the work, the excitement of what journey he and I are really on together. What we signed up for before descending onto earth. What his soul is up to. Who he’ll influence. What he’ll do and what I’ll learn.
But for now while he’s away at camp, I drown in mindless television and make my eighteen-year-old fetch me Dairy Queen.
And that’s okay too.