You’re On the Air

Posted: March 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging, Doctors, Extended Family, Firsts, Friends and Strangers, Moods, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Parenting | 1 Comment »

I cried on the radio the other day.

No, I didn’t drape myself over a boom box to weep. I actually called into a radio show and cried. Live on the air.

And to be clear, I’m not someone who calls into radio shows. In my teen years I never once tried to win concert tickets. Like watching American Idol, eating mushrooms, or waking up early to work out, calling into radio shows is something other people do. Not me.

But I’ve recently come to know a talk show host—or should I say hostess? Her radio show, Childhood Matters, is about parenting. Or more precisely, things of interest to people who have an interest in kids.

The topic was milestone delays. And though I started listening with no intention of calling in, I got to thinking about my own dear Paigey. Her learning to walk at 21 months certainly qualified as a milestone delay.

There were folks talking about autism and other kindsa things that trigger most parents to stick their fingers in their ears and say, “LA LA LA LA” really loudly so they can’t hear any more. As if you (or your kid) could catch something just by turning your mind to it.

And frankly as I puttered around listening to the show, I was mentally separating myself from those folks too. Kate and Paige were busying themselves at their toy kitchen, preparing an array of wooden foods to faux-feed their dolls and each other. They were playing so nicely. Such a normal healthy little scene. I got a sudden strong surge to share a milestone-delay success story.

So I called in, and talked to the producer, who said to hold on a minute, and before you know it I was on the air, and next thing after that without having seen it coming, my voice started cracking as I told the story about that one day a year ago when our pediatrician quietly kindly urged me to have Paige “assessed.” I’d told this story dozens of times to friends and family, but it wasn’t until that moment that I somehow felt just how damn scared I’d been back then.

Of course, producers love criers. (I know, I used to be one. A producer, that is. Before I was a crier. I guess I have experience in both realms now.) Anyway, I eventually managed to get my un-sad voice back. And at that point, of course, I felt like I was just getting warmed up. On Paige’s second birthday, I told the listeners, she was zooming around the house squealing and playing alongside all the other two-year-olds. And despite the long haul it’d taken for her to get there, it was clear that she had finally, blessedly caught up. Nothing different between those kids and my girl.

I know I haven’t written about my adventures at the Olympics. Sometimes big, super-fun, once-in-a-lifetime things happen, and instead of writing about those, I find myself focused on the minutiae of every day life.

Besides, that adventure came to a sad end with the unexpected death of Mark’s amazing grandfather. The man was a brilliant businessman in his day, a larger-than-life family man, a reciter of poetry, and apparently a hell of a golfer. Kate’s middle name—Miller—hails from none other than Grandpa John and his wife, Lois. It’s a tribute I’m so very happy we made.

It’s weird how grief works. After my mother died I went to a Day of the Dead parade, expecting a torrent of tears. But nothing. And just a month after her death, I went through Mother’s Day strangely—nearly embarrassingly—devoid of deep sorrow.

But then one day, out to lunch at a cafe, a friend ordered an iced tea, and I excused myself to the bathroom where I sobbed and sobbed. In Target a woman told her child they were going home to meet Grandma, and I sat in the parking lot bawling, unable to drive. When I least expect it the tears still come.

Who knows if it’ll be that way for the people mourning Grandpa John. Surely I’m not the only one to wail in the Target lot. If the folks in Mark’s family are suddenly overcome by the random ordering of a beverage, I hope they feel a bit better on the other side of the tears. I’m no Holly Hunter in Broadcast News, but I do appreciate the cleansing effects of a good cry.

As for my emotional outburst on the radio? Well, when I call in some day to win Jonas Brothers tickets—something I assume I’m bound to do now that I’ve broken the seal on calling radio shows—the next time I’m on the air I’ll strive to exercise a bit more composure.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “You’re On the Air”

  1. 1 Sacha said at 7:11 pm on March 24th, 2010:

    I love this entry. I am very proud of your little Paigey. She is truly the sweetest little girl I know. I love that she can stand up to brutish Ellie (Elsie!). I am also proud that you got yourself on live radio and were able to impart such an inspiring story. Way to go girl….

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