Ker-clump, ker-clump, ker-clump. The floor shakes above me – my son is running laps. It’s not exactly running, although he is fast. The movement reminds me of baby-him crawling on one knee while the other leg semi-walked. I guess it’s a type of skipping, but more musical and dinosaur-like.
Primal somehow, and so him. I think about how he does it less these days and about how I’ll miss it later. This uninhibited display of himself is a fleeting gift. I can almost see it in the windows of my memory, later, while trying to peer in.
Ker-clump, ker-clump, ker-clump.
He ker-clumps when he’s tired or needs to work something out. When I’m upstairs with him, I barely notice it.
I notice it down here though as I write most Thursday nights. His ker-clumps chant “Write, come up, write, come up, write.” It’s like the voices on the bathroom wall, but louder and more like the sound of home.
I need to write but abandon my chuckling keyboard to go outside and wonder about the lives around me. I imagine people coming from parties or grocery shopping. I imagine celebrations and tragedies and the conversations surrounding both.
I think about the day my husband and I drove our son home from the hospital, and wonder if one of the cars passing holds a mom and her newborn.
I think about the day we drove to Tennessee to bury my mother-in-law and wonder if another car is heading to choose a casket or to deliver bad news in person.
It’s been a couple of days since I was six cars behind an accident. The van in front of me blocked my view but I saw the fire truck pull up and block the road. I watched as the ambulance came from the other side and blocked that view too.
A police woman parked on the median, got out of her car, and signaled us to drive over the median going the other way.
I started crying. It was obviously a bad accident, and one that had happened six cars in front of me. I was relieved my son wasn’t in the car. More so that the accident wasn’t us.
Heading the other way, I thought about what’s important, and about how much our thoughts and our words are affected by emotion.
I thought about how much more easily words come when the emotions behind them are driving. While ranting about something, the words fly out of my fingers almost as if they’re coming from elsewhere. When I have A Point.
Sitting on a short brick wall waiting for my brothers and cousins to finish their lap at the roller rink, I watched a girl skate towards me. I scooted to the side in case she was coming to sit.
“You’re ugly,” she said.
I wondered who she was and what I’d done. Had I bumped her or something? I was sure I hadn’t.
My brothers and cousins finished, we removed our skates and went to find our grandma. I didn’t say anything about the girl, not wanting the cousin I almost shared a birthday with to know. She’d always been cooler and more comfortable with all things social or coordinated and I was sure she’d laugh.
Later, I told my grandma about it. “Oh honey,” she said, “I’m sure she was jealous because you’re not ugly.”
“Okay,” I said.
I wanted to believe her.
That night, in a sleeping bag on the floor next to my cousin, I thought about all the things I could have said back. I wanted to hurt that girl with my words.
Tonight, I think about emotions and words and thinking of the best witty comebacks too late to use them.
I wonder what I could have said to the skank in high school who stole my boyfriend right before prom and about the boyfriend who wanted to be stolen without telling me first.
I thought about the time when a slimebucket CEO in Golden, CO told me I’d have a job in spite of upcoming layoffs, let me go the next week along with the rest of the marketing department, and then asked me if I wanted to write the company a check for $8,000 to buy out my stock options (I didn’t write the check, thank goodness, being as they declared bankruptcy like a month later and probably knew they were going to when they asked for my money).
Emotions drive words both written and spoken and sometimes, we wish we could take them back.
Other times, we wish we’d had the perfect witty comment to counteract another’s venom. Emotions are important to words but sometimes, we should step away and wait for reason. I think about responding with grace to venom and about how what other people think of us isn’t any of our business.
I think about blogging and writing and how each of us who does so does it because in some way, we have to. I wonder at those who take our words and make us into something in their minds and then are disappointed when we don’t measure up. About their anger. About our choices to absorb it or to turn away.
I’ve recently chosen to turn away, and am glad of that although the witty comebacks continue to pop up when I least expect them. Sometimes, I wish I’d said them. Sometimes, I almost re-open the conversation and do so.
But I don’t.
I choose grace, and peace. I choose to wonder whether the car driving by is celebrating or grieving rather than dwelling on the witty comebacks I could have spit back.
Because what we choose now matters. How we treat one another. That matters most, and ultimately, it’s the only thing that really does.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “When it comes to my emotions and my words…”
Write about how you write with emotion, or about how an In Real Life conversation would have gone differently had you been able to find your words during anger or happiness. Write what you’d like to, telling us about emotions and words, and how they sometimes are like Wonder Twins (some may be too young for that reference) or at other times seem separate from one another.