Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Packing up

The last homecooked meal for a long while is cooking in the oven. That's the one bad thing about a road trip--the horrific dining choices on the way.

And as the oven roasts the stuffed flank steak with spinach and prosciutto, baby red-skinned potatoes and asparagus, the washing machine churns the last load of laundry, and the suitcases fill rapidly, I'm starting to get a furrow in my brow.

I can't wait to see everyone and be in the thick of fun for these next two weeks, of course, but I can't help but worry about A-Dog, of course.

While Amy and I were shopping today for the last incidental car surprises to whip out at the perfect moment to thwart squabbles, time and boredom, I realized I was being watched.

Because we spend so much time at home alone together, the subtleties and complexities of our communication occur naturally now, and I don't think of how it must look to other people. (This happened over the weekend, too.) In some strange combination of homemade sign language, facial expression, precise finger movement and a healthy dose of ESP, I usually know exactly what she wants or needs at any given moment. There is an ad-hoc science to it, I assure you, and rarely do I have to guess. It's how we survive.

So, this woman is watching us, and I can tell she is wondering the source of the lack of speech; and I swear I almost answered her unspoken question because that's what we do all day--answer the unspoken.

But I didn't.

I didn't launch into my litany of doctors and hearing tests and speech therapists and diagnoses. I didn't give the game plan and I didn't make excuses and I didn't say what was next.

And it felt good.

And so I hope that next week with all of the well-intentioned advice, counsel, stories about friends of friends that had similar problems and did this or that...I hope all of that goes unspoken, too.

Because she is really amazing even when she doesn't say a word.

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