So, I've been feeling, ahh, I don't know if I can find the perfect words to describe it, but I suppose bummed out will suffice, about my last post. While I do believe that it's perfectly fine to feel down and out every now and then, I think my post was too extreme. I guess that will teach me to spill my thoughts following a less than stellar physical therapy appointment in which new concerns were revealed regarding Dylan's "speech"...or the lack thereof. Eh, that in addition to more oral motor "wake up" suggestions and it felt like just one more thing on top of an already large pile of things, you know? And then, while typing, I glanced up at Dylan only to see him spitting-up. Large amounts of spit up. Aaaagain. And so it went - my depressing post began.
I was lying in bed last night trying to fall asleep, and all of a sudden I had this revelation. See, I have spent the past few weeks trying to write, (and by "write" I mean "think about") a speech for this Hall of Fame banquet that is fast approaching. I have been inducted into my college's HOF for swimming. Actually, I was inducted at this time last year, however I declined because Dylan's heart surgery was just weeks away and I was unable to wrap my head around anything else at the time. Period.
A few months ago I received some paperwork in the mail and have recently begun to look it over. There is a biography containing specifics about my college swimming carreer. I was asked to review it and email the committee with any inaccuracies. This biography includes fastest times that I achieved, places that I finished in big races and records that I set. I laughed a little bit the first time I read this bio thinking, "Ha! How in the world am I suppose to remember this stuff?!".
Last night it occurred to me why I am struggling with my speech. And why I can't remember the stuff that is suppose to be most important - the best times, places, records. The very stuff that got me into the Hall of Fame isn't the stuff that matters. It's not the stuff that I remember. Or cherish.
As I thought about this, I figured eh, my life certainly has changed since then. It was all about the competition and the races back then. I thought that that stuff must have mattered most to me then and that, because of Dylan, I am just now learning otherwise. That life is not a race. It's not a competition. But you know what? Without realizing it, I must have known this all along. If the most important things to me were the races and the times, then surely I would remember more about that stuff now, right? I mean, I look at that biography and feel quite certain that if they had been talking about a teammate of mine by mistake, I wouldn't know it.
You know what I do remember, though? I remember the friends that I made. The long bus rides we took to various colleges. How my teammates and I ate cinnamon bagels before our Saturday meets. I remember how my coach played the banjo as we grumpily filed in for our 6 a.m practices. I remember our cheers, our big green jackets, Florida training trips, sour patch kids, the weight room.
Isn't that awesome, to be able to remember that kind of stuff? Aren't those the kind of memories you want to cherish? For isn't that what life is about?
So, as I lied in bed last night I smiled. I thought, "Yes! I got it!!". Years from now I will probably not remember exactly when Dylan learned to crawl or walk or talk. I won't remember how old he was when he stopped spitting up (OK, maybe I will, because seriously, that one is realllllly getting old!). I will probably hesitate and have to think hard if someone were to ask me when Dylan stopped eating baby food.
But you know what I will remember? Most definitely, I will remember his smile and his laugh. How he loved to clap and wave. How his mouth moved when he got really tired and how his eyes were when he looked up at me and touched my face.
And thank goodness for that. Because really, isn't that the stuff that matters most?