Getting Nowhere Fast

Just this week, I watched a little lizard attempt to navigate our kitchen floor. Typically, I’d quickly usher him outside, but this time, I paused with my morning coffee to observe. As I leaned in, he squared up to me, mouth agape in a silent challenge.

Creeping closer, I saw him scramble, his tiny feet churning with no purchase—like a scene from a classic cartoon. Whether he was overfed on kitchen crumbs or our floor was too slick, he couldn’t find his footing. Trying not to cause him any harm, I waved him gently toward the exit, but he just couldn’t get going. When he finally began to move, it was in sporadic jerks; whenever he slowed down and took his time, he managed to make progress.

I reached for a lizard traction device, (a piece of paper) to help him along, but as I did, he made a slow, determined beeline for shelter under the fridge. I didn’t pursue, hoping he’d be safer there than exposed in the open kitchen or hurt by moving out the appliance.

Lately, it feels like everything is a metaphor, or maybe, as we transition into another phase of trauma recovery, the profound realizations come less frequently.

I’ve been reflecting on Lauren’s current chapter. Not so long ago, she was finalizing college applications, poised for a banner tennis year, and thrilled about new beginnings. Her skills were sharpening, her strength training was yielding results—then suddenly, a collision, and time fractured. Now, she grapples with disorientation and unfamiliar faces.

She’s now retracing her steps, sometimes spinning her wheels, relearning what was once second nature. It would be manageable if life simply paused, but as memories resurface and realizations dawn, she’s confronting loss—the loss of her trajectory, her next steps, the daunting length of her recovery. Hearing her talk about wanting to be “normal” and not “broken” shatters my heart.

Daily, I wish for some cinematic magic to swap places with her, to reset her journey to where she was poised to flourish. Explaining her situation, even as gratitude overflows for the support she’s received, doesn’t lighten the weight of sorrow, frustration, and yes, anger. Yes, it could’ve been worse. Yes, Brooks and Lauren are fortunate. Yes, I am grateful.

But, plainly put, it just sucks.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Optical Illusions

I recently watched my daughter standing with her peers at an event. At first glance, the scene was picture-perfect. However,

Read More