Halfway up the High Dive

You know that feeling you get from the top of the high dive when you're a kid?

You were happy enough jumping off of the regular diving board into the pool but something about the high dive called to you and made you climb the ladder to the top. As an adult you look back and realize that the high dive isn't all that high. But as a kid it towered over you.

It could have been on a dare or just because you thought you were ready, but you climbed the ladder and the person in front of you completed their dive and you can feel the person behind you getting impatient.

So you walk to the end of the board and look down. It's so far. What if you land wrong? That could hurt. Something catches in the back of your legs and you don't think you can move.

That's where I am with thank you notes right now. So many people have done so many nice things for us. There are so many people who I want to (not need to – really want to) stop and thank for taking the time out to cook and bring over food, for sending flowers, for writing a supportive note, or whatever it was they did.

But the view from the top of the board is overwhelming. There are so many emails to reply to and letters to write. Something has caught in the back of my legs and I don't seem  to be able to move on this. I have an irrational fear that looking back on all of the nice things that people have done for us will force me to relive the pain of the last month all over again. And so I stand hear on the edge of the board looking down.

The people ahead of me have gone already. Kim and Maggie have jumped off of the board and are back in line behind me ready to go again. They have each written a few notes each day for a week. They still pause at the top of the board, but they jump off, give a little whoop when they land and climb the ladder again.

As a child at the end of the high dive I remember the voices saying, "come on, just go" or "don't worry, you can go back down the ladder if you're afraid."

And then I would dive. No, that's not right. No one would call that a dive. I would jump awkwardly and land in water. My head would find it's way back to the surface and I would smile and think, "that was great, I want to do it again."

Some time this weekend, I'll write that first awkward thank you. Maybe just one this weekend. But then I'll get back in line.

Published in: on April 1, 2006 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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