Where is the luggage??

In the Pixar movie “Inside Out” (in theater’s now), there is a place in the mind where the deepest fears are kept under lock and key. In the movie, this fear is a giant clown. In my mind, this room holds plane tickets to St. Kitts and a security line two miles long. (and a centipede. Never forget the centipedes.)

Last night I dreamed that Mike, our roommate from St. Kitts, was here in Tennessee and was taking us to the airport to catch our flight for our last semester on the island. In this dream, I had known we were getting ready to return, but not that our flight was leaving that day – in ten minutes.

The Mister had to get back to start classes again, but I hadn’t packed any luggage! We only needed supplies for four months, but we had nothing! So I sent him through security and I resigned myself to go home, pack our bags and buy another ticket to join him the next day. Suddenly, the Mister turns around and comes back, waving his arms and yelling, “Don’t we have clothes in these suitcases?!” And lo and behold, if he isn’t pulling a giant suitcase through security. And, surprise! I am also pulling a suitcase that hadn’t been there before.

So now we have less than five minutes before the plane leaves, we’re running through this imaginary airport pulling two giant suitcases with us. I don’t know if I even have my passport and I’m hoping nobody will ask about it. We get to the gate just in time, but we didn’t check our big suitcases like we were supposed to, and we’re trying to convince the flight attendants to just let us take them on board anyway.

I don’t know if we ever made the flight or not; my subconscious must have decided that was enough of that because I started down some other dream tangent. I used to love airports and flying. The idea of getting on a plane in one place and getting off it somewhere completely different, in only an hour or two, always fascinated me. I loved the idea of so many people with so many different stories overlapping all in one place before they scatter again to the four winds.

Now, airports give me anxious nightmares. I have similar dreams – about having to leave for St. Kitts but not being prepared – at least twice a month. I won’t be surprised if I have these dreams for the rest of my life. That and centipedes will haunt me until the day I die.

There is a very creepy, sing-songy voice that plays in my head when I’m frustrated. It goes something like this: “Thank you for flying with American Airlines. Please pay attention as your flight attendant demonstrates the emergency procedures….”

It’s the little things.

Adaptation. That’s one of the key words in marriage, I think. Adapt to sharing closet space, adapt to someone else’s schedule, adapt to the quirks and eccentricities of another person.

I’ve come to realize since moving into our small apartment that there are certain things the Mister is going to do every single day, regardless of how many times I’ve reminded him to stop. And at first those things annoyed me and drove me crazy, but now I’ve adapted to include the correcting of those things in my normal, expected routine.

For example, anytime I walk into the kitchen I automatically raise my right hand and close the first cabinet by the doorway, because I know it will be open. It always is. That’s where the plates and bowls are, and the Mister never closes it.

Every time I enter or exit our bedroom I automatically reach for the closet light switch to flip it off, because I know it will be on. If the Mister has been in the room at all that day, it will be on. Even if the door is closed and the bedroom light itself has been turned off. That’s just how it is.

Like I said, these things and others used to drive me bananas, but now I think if they were to stop I would reach for that cabinet door… find it closed… and feel a little bit sad. I would bend to pick up the clothes wedged behind the bathroom door and find nothing there… and feel a bit sad.

I’m sure the Mister has examples of these things with me too (and at least one probably involves the bowl of cooking grease I keep on the stove top), but this weekend he showed true acceptance of my quirks… he slept on the left side of the bed when I wasn’t there.

This is monumental because I made him move to the left side when we got married and he had a bit of a hard time adjusting. He always talks about the right side as “his side” that he just lets me use. When he’s been gone somewhere, he sleeps on the right or in the middle in defiance. But this weekend, even after saying he was going to sleep on “his side” while I was gone… he still slept on the left. Because that’s his side, and the right is my side. And he finally accepts that.

For some reason that means a lot to me, and I don’t know exactly why. It’s the little things, I guess, that keep it all together in the end. 🙂

#whenigrowup

What do your kids want to be when they grow up? Teachers? Doctors? Lawyers? I wanted to be all of those things and I’m sure there are more. Children have such big dreams, and parents work as hard as they can to help them accomplish whatever their hearts desire in this life.

My high school choir teacher, a woman I have always admired for her strength and grace, has three children – a daughter and two sons with Hunter’s Syndrome. Hunter’s Syndrome is a genetic defect that causes mental impairment, decreased motor and verbal skills, physical abnormalities and shortened life spans.

Without a significant improvement in their treatments, Cadence and Asher, two giggling little boys that Lori and Mike prayed so hard for, likely won’t see their 16th birthdays.

They both have ports installed in their chests and receive time-consuming, uncomfortable enzyme replacement therapy every week. They might be developing antibodies to this treatment. It won’t be effective forever. (And it costs $300,00-500,000 per year, per child.)

Projectalive.org is a campaign to find a cure for Hunter’s Syndrome. Their campaign slogan – #whenigrowup – highlights what these boys and their families hope they will grow up to be:

Cadence holds a sign saying he wants to be alive when he grows up.

Cadence is not yet five years old.

The Adams family drives several hours to Miami, Florida, (more than 200 miles) each week for the boys’ treatments. They desperately need a minivan to transport the kids and their therapy equipment back and forth to the hospital. Mike, a former Marine who served several tours of duty, joined the family in Florida as soon as he could and is working around the clock at a new job to support the kids. Lori does the lion’s share of the home therapy and transportation herself. They are still trying to sell their house in Christiana, Tennessee.

If you live in the Port St. Lucie/Tradition, Florida, area, please consider this event to raise funds for the boys’ medical expenses.

Iron Sharpens Iron benefit ride

100% of the event proceeds go to help the boys live longer lives.

I ask you all to take a moment and think about your children or the children in your life. Are they healthy? Are they happy? Do they run and play and jump? Do they bring you dandelions and frogs from the yard? Do they say “I love you”?

If you have happy, healthy children in your life; if you look forward to the day your children get married and have children of their own; if you have ever wished your adult children were small again, please take a moment and give $5 in that child’s honor to the Adams family and help Lori and Mike keep their boys for as long as they can. They have an informational website where you can learn more about Hunter’s Syndrome and about Cadence and Asher’s situation. There is also a gofundme account set up to take monetary donations. (All of these bold phrases are clickable links.) To find out more about ProjectAlive, visit projectalive.org.

Also, please share the hashtag #whenigrowup on your social media sites and share what your children want to be when they grow up.

Asher Adams has Hunter's Syndrome.

Asher is the Adams’ third child. He also has Hunter’s Syndrome and has begun to show physical symptoms.

Dear Diary: I’m in love!

Dear Diary,

Now, I know I haven’t written anything in a long time, but I have such exciting news that I just couldn’t wait to share it. I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!!

I used to think every day would always be the same: stare at mommy until she wakes up, check the yard for squirrels, and then spend all day sleeping on the couch and guarding the house until daddy gets home from work. But now, NOW there is something wonderful to look forward to in the evenings. After mommy and daddy are done with their dinner (which always smells so much better than mine and I don’t know why they don’t share), we go outside. And if we stay outside long enough, sometimes, if I am lucky, HE comes outside too.

They call him Tyson, and he is wonderful.

He likes to dig, just like me! We dig and dig and dig. Tyson’s holes are bigger than mine though, because he uses his mouth like a shovel and moves more dirt that way. Those are my favorite days – the days when I get to dig holes with Tyson. Maybe one day he will look up from his holes and see me as more than just the girl down the driveway. Someday… But for now we will dig our holes and play chase and I will teach Tyson how to catch squirrels. If he can catch a squirrel, then he will love me and we will be friends forever.

But he cannot have my favorite ball, or touch my people. I don’t share my people.

Love,

Meera