When my brother and I were younger, we used to play this game called “Mercy”. We would stand facing each other, clasp our fingers together and then bend the other’s fingers back as far as they go. We would withstand the twisting and bending of our fingers, the pain and tightening of our knuckles, while trying to be the one to stand tall longest, not be the one to give in. I never wanted to be the one to give up first, never wanted to be the one to say I couldn’t stand the pain anymore, never wanted to say, “Mercy.”

And I guess I haven’t changed much.


Tonight when I was on my walk, I buried my iPod’s ear buds deep in my ears (though I know you’re not supposed to do that), and set the music to Shuffle. Each song that appeared didn’t seem right to me, and I’d skip past, hoping the next song would fit the moment. The wind was brisk, the early evening sky dusky, the neighborhood quiet – no kids on bicycles – no laughter in the air, no cars whizzing by.

No songs seemed to fit.

I kept clicking the arrow, until finally I landed on Carly Simon’s rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. And I stopped. My stepmother had this album when I was a kid – it’s from Carly’s “Coming Around Again” album, and she somehow mashes up the children’s classic that we all know with her song from the movie Heartburn, “Coming Around Again”. Something about her voice, the familiarity and the childlike optimism of the song paced me through until the song was over and I began my mad search for the next song.


Right now, my stepson is having a very hard time. I don’t know what is the root of it, I don’t know what the solution is – but I know the process of finding the cause and solution are not easy and it’s difficult. We’re doing the best we can. Some days are easier than others.

Yesterday was a very good day – and if you were to have talked to me yesterday, I could have given you a laundry list of ways in which my day was fabulous.

Today was not so great.

In the daily push and pull with doctors and insurance companies and therapists and school administrators trying so desperately to figure out what the best solution is for this child, so much feels like it’s out of our hands and that is a disconcerting feeling. It’s a difficult thing, to be one who is used to making things happen, to not be able to make the gears turn when you need them to.


It’s hard to write about sadness. It’s hard to write and admit that you don’t have the answers or that the load you’re carrying feels like too much and your shoulders hurt and you want to rest and for a minute just sit down with your back to a shade tree and rest in the cool cover for a minute and let the world turn without you.

But that is what I am doing this evening.

Tonight, I say mercy. I will shrug this heavy weight off my shoulders and I will sit beneath this tree. I will lean and let it support me and I will give up what is turning over and over in my brain and for just a few hours, just…be.

And tomorrow will begin again. Tomorrow, we start over. Hopefully a little stronger, hopefully refreshed and ready for another day, another try.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Sometimes we all have to just BE to be able to get back up again. Good for you giving yourself a break. Tomorrow is another day and you will great at it.

    • Thank you – it’s been a good night. Trashy reality television and a carb overload (bagels FTW!). Good to not have that heavy stressed out feeling. Will hopefully carry this over to tomorrow.

  2. Hugs, friend.

  3. It is hard for me to admit that I don’t have the answers or that I need a rest from carrying the weight, mostly because it seems that everyone is looking to me to carry that weight. I feel often that I am the rock, the one people come to and dump their cares upon. I am the one that should be able to keep a smile on my face, to keep trucking, to keep carrying. And when I can’t, when I need to stop and ask someone else to carry MY load for a while? I always feel so guilty.
    How does a “fixer” admit that she cannot fix everything?

  4. Love you 🙂

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