|Lavender farm just up the road.|
She called my name softly from behind, emerging from the bulk food section at the farmer's market. I was facing the cheese case, Ohio Swiss in hand, enjoying the din of the busy noon market. My friend was toting her baby and toddler, and I immediately felt sheepish in her presence because I had been meaning to call her, but couldn't reach out. She greeted Little Mister. He's getting so big. She asked how I was, and explained that she couldn't chat because her daughter needed to find the bathroom, and it crossed my mind that someday I'd be hauling a child with a small bladder who needs to use the public restrooms, and oh, I don't look forward to that.
As she left, I thought, Did I even say anything? A "How are you?" or "Good to see you?" I couldn't recall because these days my mind had been preoccupied with something my mouth did not have words for and couldn't yet say.
For weeks I had fumbled with our beat up old irrigation system in the garden, and in the process I was sprayed down more than the plants. Plus there were two rows of corn coming up funny, some beans that didn't look good at all, and a few peppers and tomatoes that were casualties of a toddler toddling. Where was the rain when you need it?
I lived in fear of them not being able to understand the daily chaos of having a son who has some special needs right now, and all that it entails. The doctor visits, the referrals, the phone calls, the episodes. I longed to talk about it, but didn't want to talk about it to the wrong people. What I really wanted most was relief to rain down on us.
I certainly didn't want to talk about it at the market and not here on my blog, either. This space is my one happy corner of the world, my place where I can post thanks and praise. I like to write about things I love, and to share joy. It is not a place for the hard stuff, it's a place for sunshine, not rain.
Then, it started raining. Hard. The corn leaned over on its side and I ran out every day to straighten it.
I started talking about it, to friends, and friends of friends and just anyone and someone. People I barely knew or whom I thought of as my friend because we had other mutual interests reached back. They told me about their children with Aspberger's, undiagnosed boys with limitations, kids who got occupational therapy. We're with you, they said. You are not alone, and your son will amaze you. It was a shower of love and hope brought forth by distant clouds when I thought the sky was clear. They talked about kids who grew up to be really smart, and high functioning, and perfectly fine. They just needed longer to ripen.
The therapy coordinator told us we qualify for respite. It would mean I could do something important for myself like take a shower. Ah, rain again.
The plans for an ark were abandoned when the rain gave way to sun one morning, and I dutifully set out to straighten the corn on a clear day. For weeks I had struggled with our ill-working irrigation system, and now it was watered for free far better than I could have done it.
The rain can't stay forever. It arrives, replenishes, makes us grow, and leaves a promise.