We Have a Boat

IMG_3264The cottonwoods whisper outside my open window. I can hear crickets when the wind ebbs. It’s nighttime and summer waxes awhile yet, as I lie on my bed in the dark and mull that here we are, again coping with med changes for Jackypants.

It’s an awkward tango where we adjust the timing and doses of the meds that are mostly really helping except when they aren’t. We whirl and lunge and leap in a hopeful interpretive dance around our nonverbal son, who can’t tell us how the meds (or our weird dance moves) make him feel.

I crush pills. I frequent the pharmacy.

Then we watch. Everything is based in observation, and I hope that we are being observant enough.

Jack’s receptive language is really pretty good. He understands most of what we say to him. He laughs at things or moans just like his teenage brother when he thinks parents are lame. But he can’t express himself verbally. It’s all stuck inside his blue eyes, milky/freckly skin, and red hair.

I would be throwing things and hitting people, too.

I have an image in my mind of a boat carried on a tide. We are in the boat. We have oars, a sail, the stars, and yet we are carried by a tide. It goes where it will and we cannot change its course.

Jack can’t speak. I can’t read his mind or give him everything he wishes for. He feels frustration and anger and wanting. I feel inadequacy and, sometimes, sadness.

So we drift. It’s a purposeful current, but we do not control it.

Still, I am grateful for the boat. We aren’t helpless and floundering. We can row; we can fill our sails. Wind and water and sky splay out around us.

It’s a strong current that draws us along, even when we wish it would take us someplace else. We may be pulled out to a faraway place by this tide, but we have a boat to carry us.

I am happy for the adventure, for serendipity.

And the stars make me glad.


  9 comments for “We Have a Boat

  1. August 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I love this. Thanks for giving me perspective again and again. xx

  2. Sarah
    August 6, 2015 at 10:34 am

    You had me floating right along with you. So much of what we live feels like a dream, doesn’t it? Like, how is this me, having to do this thing, make this choice, learn this lesson–again, again, again?

  3. ann cannon
    August 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I’m so moved by this. Thank you.

  4. louiseplummmer
    August 6, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    A beautiful and generous metaphor.

  5. Molly
    August 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Love this post.

  6. August 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Family in the Boat – courage, stamina, love, and inspiration. Yes, you did it again: found the words to touch hearts! Hugs~

  7. Jennifer
    August 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    This is really beautiful. So many of us (me at times) feel like we are in the water being carried along by riptides and currents we can’t control. But we ARE in a boat. We are OK. We are all going to be OK.

  8. Allison
    August 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    And you have a lighthouse…
    See June’s ensign article, “faith to leave the harbor”.

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