I almost died of other things too, not to be melodramatic. It was never my trip to take, but I couldn’t have taken it anyway because I was dealing with PTSD. My heart started pounding in strange and uncertain places, and sometimes not-so-strange and not-so-uncertain places. I was breathless and heart-poundy a lot. And I’m ok with that. I’m ok with that because it happened for a reason and I have done nothing but challenge it since. And this year? I could have gone. I could have loved it. I could have been breathless and heart-poundy in large crowds and cities, but knowing I can find my way to the other side.
Being breathless and heart-poundy can be good too, sometimes. When it threatens to overwhelm you, well maybe you’ll find your way to the other side. It takes all kinds. And maybe my way won’t work for you, or your way won’t work for me, but hey. In this particular movie with this particular girl, the hero made her way to New York City to take it by storm. And her mother was fine with that and knowing that one year, maybe they’ll all go as a family. And maybe her mother can be a hero too.
I also want you to consider that this trip was followed by Scarlet’s performance in The Nutcracker, a trip on the Polar Express, a trip to see Santa, a two day fever and then a trip to see Star Wars. Girl’s got style and stamina. And grace too.
I’ve noticed lately that people smile at the two of us whenever we’re out in public. It happened so many times the other day when I took her to see The Good Dinosaur that I finally made us stand side by side in the restroom mirror to see if I could see it. And sure enough, I did. Matching red coats and matching tousled hair. Matching smiles and joy. Matching wonder. We’re in sync a lot these days, whether together in NYC or not. Knowing I can be fully happy for their trips and fully present for when they get home is big. I also think you can’t underestimate the power of a peacoat, a smile, and messy, happy hair.
As we walked out of Star Wars on Friday, Scarlet asked what the plot was. Then she delved into her own theories. If I had to come up with a plot for this story, it would be that chocolate, moose and blue whales are awesome. Oh yeah. I already told you that plot. It would be that annual holiday traditions like this are lifelong locked into the memory banks. And that messy hair and red peacoats will not only open doors for you out there in the world, but will knock them off their hinges.
**All photos taken by Cassidy, or by random, friendly strangers in NYC.