Saturday, April 18, 2009

Top Of The Mountain

Pablo and I Friday morning at 4,000 feet above the desert floor. I rode up, and he and Polly met me at the top. The road to this spot winds through some incredibly beautiful desert. Pablo threw dozens of rocks into the woods behind us. A simple childhood activity that has been absent from his life the past 11 months.

OK, back to normal life. When I rode away from Pablo and Polly at the top of the mountain on Friday morning, this picture was going to be next post to the Pablog. That was before my unscheduled interaction with the automobile at the bottom of the mountain. But all that's behind us now. We had a relaxing, zero m.p.h. / zero hospital day around here. Just what we needed. Peter + Brie + Lennon brought over BBQ materials, and we cooked out for lunch. Paki + Arianna + Sophia joined us. And later on, our homeboy Albert brought over some Brave Soldier road rash creme and iced espresso goodness. Karen from CHLA popped by. We sat around talking and laughing. That was our entire day right there. And that's more like it.

This evening, Jo Ann, Grady and Polly went to Coachella, and P and I stayed home. We had the best time, and we know the other three did too. It's Grady's birthday, and the only thing that could be better than seeing him go to Coachella and see a ton of great bands is if we were going too. But the important thing is that Grady's birthday—11 months and one day after Pablo's diagnosis—was a fun, easy-going day for him. He deserves it, after a year of living on the side of his brother's great matter.

All of these seemingly little things do not go unnoticed by Jo Ann and I. Like the fact that my crash yesterday was exactly 11 months after P's diagnosis, and exactly one month before my birthday. I'm not saying we sit around Nostradamus-style with a cauldron of wine and a quill pen, summoning meaning from every sliver of our lives. But we do step back, usually at night after the kids are in bed, and talk about these things. This morning, I asked Jo Ann what she thought the universe was telling me with the crash. I had my own view on it, but wondered what she thought. 'To slow down,' was her response. And that's exactly what I thought. She didn't mean to slow down in terms of miles per hour on the bike. She meant slow down in my life. She's right. Now I gotta figure out how exactly to do that.

Pablo's asleep beside me, like a little angel. He has been comforting me all evening. Earlier, we concocted a way for me to help him get his shoes on. Bending over at his feet was not an option. Once his shoes were on, I started to get up from my pedi-position. The pain shot through my body like electricity. He jumped up and started rubbing my back, soothing it with his hand; he looked me in the eyes and started to inhale and exhale in the exaggerated way that Jo Ann and I do with him in the hospital when he's in a painful or scary situation. It worked. I got up, then sat down on the piano bench, pulled him into my arms, and started to weep. The simple beauty of this little boy, after all the torture and scary shit he's been through, is unlike anything I've ever seen. I've been through tough things in life. And all it's done in me is elicit anger and hardness. I've had to work very hard to chisel through that. And little Pablo has steered himself down a different path. This is a pure example of a child teaching the parent.

And on that note, I'm going to sign off for the night.


Kevin said...

It's great what you're doing with the blog, man. Great story, and moving words. We wish you all the best over here. We read every day.

grandpa & kathie said...

hi pablo glad to hear you are feeling better.that lemon is bigggg.hope you enjoyed the lance book we sent you.jeff when you feel better call &PRAYERS DAD&KATIE. P.S happy birthday grady

Unknown said...

What a beautiful, tender moment with your little boy...