“You may not remember the time you let me go first. Or the time you dropped back to tell me it wasn’t that far to go. Or the time you waited at the crossroads for me to catch up. You may not remember any of those, but I do and this is what I have to say to you: …Today, no matter what it takes, we ride home together.” Brian Andreas
Today’s quote is wordy and abstract, but for any of us who have ever been a companion to someone who is facing a difficult journey, these words will really hit home.
We have a 7-year-old son who has a difficult autoimmune illness that is invisible to the outside world, but wreaks havoc in his nervous system. We have spent three years fighting a daily battle with him, sometimes for him, and even some days against him. He started 2nd grade on Monday, and he had been doing so well that I decided to ‘drop back’ as today’s quote implies. I requested no preemptive meeting with his teacher prior to the first day of school, wrote no lengthy note to her explaining his condition in great detail, etc. I was of the mind set that if I did not have to make his condition a part of his identity, then I was not going to.
Well, we made it to Thursday- and then his teacher pulled my husband and I aside and had ‘the talk’ with us. (and it was a loving and supportive talk), but to us it was still ‘the talk’ that we had hoped we had outgrown the need for.
So back to today’s quote- I had decided not to ‘go first’… this time. I dropped back and let him ride ahead. It took four days for me catch up and meet him at the crossroads. Friday morning my husband and I met with his teacher and had ‘our talk’ with her, and I handed her my neat stack of white papers that both explain and validate what happens in our son’s nervous system because he has antibodies attacking both his brain and his adrenal gland. Tonight when we pick him up, we will all ‘drive home together’ …
One day he will be ready to run far ahead of us, as every child should have the freedom to do… But until then we ride together.
Today I have written about our personal journey, but we all have a journey of our own. Think of yours today. Are you the one who walks a hard path or the companion to one who does? Today do you lead, follow, or is it time to ride home together?