A few years ago at a backyard barbecue, a friend’s birthday party, one of the stoners, mid-bite of his veggie patty, told me that déjà vu is something we experience when we are in the exact place we should be.
I often think of this story my friend tells when I’m making myself too busy. What am I forgetting or avoiding? What am I afraid to face? What is slipping between the cracks as I ensure nothing else is?
At 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, Justin woke me up. He was having trouble breathing. His heart hurt. I figured it was nothing new, just a slight panic attack he gets mid-sleep sometimes. I stroked his back and laid my head back down on my pillow. I let my eyes close again. Sleep seconds away. But I wouldn’t go back to sleep for six more hours. Something was wrong.
Today after my evening run, I stretched in the park across from our apartment. As I laid on my back to stretch these American thighs, I turned my head to the side. Eye level was an ant diligently collecting nectar from a dandelion as if it was the most important thing in the world. He climbed all over this supposed weed, through its golden landscape, over its hilly petals. It made me remember something my dad told me this weekend while I was home.
As an aunt, you are invited into some very special children’s lives. Mostly it’s fun and carefree and a matter of handing off when things get too hard, but there are some tricky things to navigate here, too.
I’m performing a live lit piece tomorrow at Chicago’s Duly Noted! Come listen to music and storytelling (including my tale of a prank call gone wrong… or deliciously right, depending on how you look at it).