I can't for the life of me figure out why I go there. Every time I do, I end up crying.
The day after I got to Houston, Amanda and I trekked out to do some window-shopping. We stopped at Jason's Deli for lunch--neither of us had ever eaten there, and we were FAMISHED. I had a muffaletta, which I'd loved so much at Central Grocery on our trip to NOLA, and we had a great day. An exhausting day, even for me--I can't imagine how much so for her.
And that was the last time we ever ate out at a restaurant together.
Sure, we hit the hotel restaurant on my last night, but that really wasn't eating out, not in the same way that actually leaving the building is. Just like eating at the rodeo really wasn't eating--anyway, you get the point.
So there's a Jason's Deli near work, and I stop there every once in a while for a quarter-muff. They're all decorated exactly the same, so just sitting down at the table transports me back instantly: Amanda sitting at my left, hot & tired from a 2+ mile walk on a very sunny day, us running our mouths trying desperately to avoid discussing her condition.
And as if that weren't enough to undo me every time, yesterday there was a family with a 18-month-old boy sitting near me. He was so cute from behind, with his little toddler mannerisms, and I realized that I'd blinked and missed my son's last couple of years. He's 4 now. How did that happen?
And the man behind me is telling his mother about what matters in life, that money is great and all, but that time is the most valuable asset. Time. How it slips away!
So there I was, trying not to get choked up about Amanda or my no-longer-toddler, when the little boy turned around and I realized he had Down's Syndrome. And I realized that I'd never seen a really young child with Down's, and how many challenges that little boy would face, and I couldn't handle it. I came completely unglued.