Baby on a skateboard

I think you can understand why there is no picture to go with this blog. At least, I couldn’t find anything that remotely resembled the baby on the skateboard in my dream.

For the last few months, I’ve experienced a (for me) rare brand of insomnia. Waking up at 4 a.m., I am unable to fall asleep for up to four hours. It’s like the top half of me can’t stay awake, and the bottom half can’t sleep—restless leg syndrome? Dude, I totally get how awful that is now. Anyway, when I finally fall asleep, I dream more wildly than I have ever done. (I think you can see where this is going.)

After my last bout of insomnia, I dreamt I saw a baby on a skateboard. It was standing totally straight, its little right foot in front of the left, and moving at great speed down a sidewalk to the right of me about, oh, thirty feet away. I was going to cut across the grass, the sidewalks forming a square around the greenery.

My first thought was, “Wow! What a talented baby!” It has always amazed me how anyone can skateboard in the first place; I tried it once and nearly killed myself in the attempt. That this infant—looking to be about six months old—could not only stand up straight, but do so on a moving piece of wood with wheels, was a sight to behold.

Then I realized that the baby was heading straight toward a busy cross street. It wasn’t slowing down at all, just careering toward the intersection. Gasping, I tried to run to the baby’s aid, screaming, “Watch out! Stop! Stop! Baby, stop!” I knew I couldn’t get there in time, and nearly froze in indecision. Then I started running straight across the grass, into the busy street myself. There were two lanes of traffic going each way; I stood in the nearest lane, holding my hands up like a traffic cop would, but I feared the farther two lanes of traffic would not be able to see me.

Just then, Katrisa came out of the woods on the other side, putting her hands up, too. The cars all stopped, not knowing why, but assuming, I guess, that if two women were out there with their hands up, it must be for a good reason. Cars were stopping way, way back, and I was surprised that they could see our hands that far away. The baby sailed by at full throttle, oblivious to the danger of its situation.

And I didn’t see where the baby went. I was just so happy to see Kat there. As I looked around, I saw others of you—Lise, Debs, J.R., Adrienne, Leah, Sabiha, Rudie, Robinson, Arden, Tom, Darlene, Alice, just to name a few—standing with your arms up, too. It hadn’t been my arms alone that could stop the flow of traffic; all of you helped. I just hadn’t seen you earlier.

Thank you, all of you, for helping the cancer baby leave safely. It’s been there a long time, though it’s new to you. In some ways, I believe I nursed it along, not believing anyone could help me. It’s finally, finally sinking in, the unequivocal support I’m getting for whatever way I choose to deal with the “c.”

And it’s working. Whatever I do, it seems to be the right thing. That’s precisely what my friend Debs said this weekend when, for the first time in weeks, I felt up to talking to her. Ditto for my sister Kathie, to whom I’d not spoken in months. I’ve accepted the life preserver thrown out to me, and climbed back on board ship. To my surprise, the seas calmed. The sun shone. Strength returned, and I feel back to my “old” self.

Or maybe I’m the baby? It’s my new self, sailing unhampered by fear into a new life, full of health and happiness—despite its being on such a precarious set of wheels.

After all, it’s not every day you see a baby on a skateboard, is it?

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