amusing diversions take2

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Theme 5 piece

Some people are granted certain abilities in life. I would no go so far as to call them super powers, but occasionally they can seem that way. I have seen men and women with the power to talk a crowd in a frenzy that will do anything for them. I have heard of incredible feats of strength or compassion with which ordinary people changed the world around them. I too, possess something of an inborn skill. Is it anything as flashy as what I’ve just mentioned? I don’t think so. I have the power to put anything and anyone to sleep. My parents were the first to notice. It was the way I had with my little brother.
Erin had just had one of his fits in a restaurant. Mom always got even more upset about it when he did it in public. Erin was what you might call a hyperactive child, though they didn’t do much about it when I was a kid. He would scream or cry until he turned purple, refusing to breath. If Mom and I were unsuccessful at calming him at this point (which we usually weren’t) he would then pass out from lack of air. Mom would scoop him up in a panic and rush to get his head under a faucet to make him start breathing again. The pediatrician claimed he would start breathing on his own at some point after he passed out, but Mom didn’t find that very comforting.
We were riding home and he was staring out the window, trying to burn down the country side with the sheer force of his will. Erin’s nickname was Damian. He didn’t get that by being the nicest or easiest of little kids. At two he could scare off kids and adults alike with one of those burning looks. I started to hum. It did not take long. He was exhausted after such a show. He looked around at me, eyes still trying to drill holes in everything they touched. I unbuckled my seat belt and slid up next to him. I started stroking his wispy white-blond hair. In a few minutes he decided that this was better than envisioning the world crushed at his feet.
He sighed. Babies, even their breath smells like heaven. His eyes turned their normal flawless blue, precious jewels against his white skin. “Sing Erk-a” he told me. I sang, still stroking his hair gently. In minutes he would be sleeping soundly, and would stay that way till we got home. When he woke it would be with that natural tendency of children to wake happy with life. I heard Mom and Dad breath a sigh of relief. Even as a three year old Erin had gotten to the point where he would take an olive branch from me much more easily then them. It was something we did whenever we took a car ride of any length. Erin would eventually ask me to sing, or I just would, and he would fall into a coma.
There were many other uses for this talent down the line. Mostly in the service of very tired people who had just had their first infant. My Aunt Beth actually drove forty five minutes each way to pick me up so I could put her kid to sleep on one particularly bad night. My favorite person to use the trick on though, has always been Erin. He came home the other night with a broken heart over a girl he’s been dating for over a year. I stroked his knee and calf for about ten minutes before he fell into a deep sleep. Still works after all these years.


Blogger johngoldfine said...

Ironic that you can put anyone to sleep, except...ahem, yourself, judging by theme six.

October 10, 2004 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Erika Lynne said...

you know, that never even occured to me. I'm a chronic insomniac... that is a little weird huh? I'm going to have to email my mom about that, she'll be very tickled.

October 10, 2004 at 3:26 PM  

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