Benefits

EQ.

Not quite sure what that means, but seem to have some sense. And I think it’s one of the benefits of being depressed. So is the development of real gratitude.

I check my kids out. The eight year-old playing basketball, hair slipping out of her pony tail, eyeglass retainers, and a killer attitude. Got a picture of her shooting a free throw last year; imagining it right now I start to tear up. It’s sitting on my desk at home, and her artwork is tacked to the wall above. So is the pink polka dot hippo she hand sewed me during my hospital tenure.

Her older sister watched her trying out for the third grade girls’ league last weekend, said she was stealing balls and frustrating the offense like no one’s business, knocking the ball out of reach if she couldn’t steal it. She’s not like me: a little demure, afraid to get too physical with other players and angry when they bump me. She’s pretty unabashed (does that mean abashed, like a happy post person is ‘gruntled?’). Coach asked my wife where she learned to play so aggressively, and my wife responded, “By learning to play with boys’ teams on an Indian reservation.” She’s a sweet, tough, charismatic daughter who has elected to keep the scars on her temple the accident left her;  a testament to people who ask about the nastiness of drunk driving.

Forget the Native American designation. I tutored kids on the Res for a year, and they screwed up their faces in disgust if you called them Native American. They were Indian; they were proud. Remembering Alex, the little rocket scientist who couldn’t concentrate on one idea long enough to save himself; a monster IQ heading for a school sentence of nonacknowledgment of who he was: Paiute, Christian, (the former two hard enough to make sense of together) Male. I think the distraction he suffered was lack of challenge or sparking neurons; the school diagnosis, of course, was ADHD. Thinking him makes me tear up and pray.

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