The Power of a Child
I am writing this a 4 o’clock on Saturday morning. Why am I up at 4 o’clock on Saturday morning, you ask? Good question. I didn’t plan to be up this early. The actual plan was to clear my mind of everything and sleep in until at least 6. Instead, I was awakened by my bladder at 3:13. After taking care of business my brain decided it was time to start dwelling on all the stuff I hadn’t been doing that needed to be done. Stuff like this blog post that is two weeks late. Stuff like my current novel, The Fringe, that I haven’t worked on in two weeks.
It has been a rough two weeks. Things had been cruising along nicely for a while without any major depression issues. I had a 46-day running streak going and had been working consistently on the novel. Then my feet starting hurting. BAD. Both of them at the same time, which is weird. Now, to be completely honest, I don’t really enjoy running but I do enjoy the way I feel after I run. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that fabled runner’s high but I do experience a lot of self-pleasure at having done something I was supposed to do. Something that is actually good for me. So, while I don’t particularly enjoy it, running is a very important part of my life.
Anyway, my feet hurt, then I crashed…hard. The depression came on fast and was relentless. I didn’t get up to write one morning, and then the next and the next after that. Today is the first time I’ve written anything in two weeks. In the meantime, I got some new running shoes and new work shoes. My feet have been feeling better but my mind has been stuck in the Dark Ages. Like I said, I haven’t been writing, haven’t been running, haven’t been doing much of anything. I come home from work and lay on the couch scrolling through Facebook videos. Then I hate myself for wasting precious time on such crap. To top it off, last weekend I somehow tweaked a muscle in my neck or shoulder and the whole left side of my upper body hurts.
Depressed people know how to throw really awesome pity parties and I was in the middle of an epic one.
Then Little Dude and the Princess came for a visit. For those of you who don’t know, these are the grandkids. Little Dude is 2 years 4 months old and the Princess is 6 months. There is something about grandkids that can shine light into even the darkest heart. Little Dude has been my special buddy since the day he was born. Having been surrounded by girls my whole life (my brother is six years younger than me with three sisters before him) I finally had a little boy to have adventures with. Also, after having raised two girls in my younger, stupider days, I hoped to maybe do a better job being a good influence on this little guy. Right from the start, Little Dude seemed to think I was special, too. Perhaps he saw the darkness in me and, instead of fearing it, knew that he had some power to push it away.
They came over on Thursday night and Little Dude went straight to the corner where his toys are kept and starting digging through the bin. He pulled out his little drum and started beating on it so I picked up my guitar and we made some music. After a couple minutes he stopped playing and gave me the drum sticks. He wanted me to play his drum. I put my guitar down and did as he wanted. Little Dude has this toy electronic guitar thing that has four strings and a bunch of buttons that all make different sounds or play short pieces of music. Since the day he got it all he ever used it for was to push the button that plays rip-off version of Old McDonald. (“With a hoe hoe here and a hoe hoe there.” Not exactly child appropriate.) This time he actually put the strap over his shoulder and held it like a real guitar. He had never done that before. He gave me a big smile and started dancing around the room playing his guitar while I beat a rhythm on his little drum. We had a blast for a good half hour. Little Dude has always loved music. His dad is a professional musician so it is probably in the blood.
Friday morning, I was at work and my wife called me. Apparently, Little Dude woke up ready to make some more music and was going through the house calling, “Gampa! Gampa!” He was looking for me so we could get the band back together. Now that is something that can melt a cold heart. My left side still hurts and my feet aren’t quite 100% but my heart and soul are lighter.
It’s almost 6:00 now and the sun is beginning to push away the night. Think I’ll go for a run.
P.S. The Princess was also very cute during their visit but Little Dude gets jealous if I give her too much attention and I don’t think he would like sharing a post about our band with her.