We took a break from the seriousness of life and jumped on the merry-go-round. The one that spins in the middle of the food court, with its carnival horses and twinkling lights.
His eyes lit up as soon as we got on the thing. Those sweet, brown eyes sparkling and gleaming; all fascinated and amused.
I looked down at him, the kind of kid that requires all the worry and all the watching. All eyes on him, making sure to not let him fall or lean forward too far. Making sure to not let him fade away in trance with the lights, those three second focals that steal him away every time. Keep my eyes on him. My hands on him. Holding him, safekeeping him. But the boy is enjoying the ride. Giddy in his okayness, enjoying the ride. I realized that I was missing it. I was missing the ride. In all of my safekeeping and making sure of his safety. So I lifted my dizzy head, took a long look at the spinning world around me.
“A little doozy,” I thought. “Maybe I’ll keep looking down.” Then, that deep down wonder…if I could just sit back and enjoy the ride, like my special boy here, stimming himself away, completely carefree. Free.
I let go, a little bit. Lifted my head, prayed for the vertigo to lay low and realized that, all the spinning is just the world to playing tricks on the mind. You aren’t really spinning out of control; you aren’t really spiraling into chaos. Caught got in the rise and fall of the horses held by poles of gold, I heard the laughter of children. Felt the wind blow across my face.
This adult-child, on the merry-go-round.
Feeling all merry with joy and all round with freedom.
I felt like the first verse of that Jewel song, “If I could tell the world just one thing it would be that we’re all okay.”
I would tell the world, tell myself, tell you—that all the spinning is just a child’s ride in the middle of a food court. I would tell you to breathe; to lift that chin and look up.
Give your brain a moment to adjust to the turning.
Let your mind write off the vertigo & motion sickness.
Shake off those notions of quitting or looking down or giving up.
And that you just might enjoy the ride and realize that, you’re okay.