We hang together in the master bedroom, watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; she, Jeanette and I. We’re relaxed. It’s been a delightful day. It’s my birthday and I’ve basked in a stream of well-wishes from my friends and family. I’ve also been the beneficiary of unbridled affection from the slayer. Now, in the early evening, we’re enjoying the quiet pleasure of shared time in front of the boob tube. Then it starts.
First, her left leg kicks high, toes pointed. Just as quickly as it rises straight and stiff, it slams down on to the bed. It smacks down percussively. I’m actually startled at first because there was no warning and the landing thuds over the movie dialog. Then the leg lifts again, and just as quickly slams down. Jordan turns her head to look at me.
– Here we go again, she says.
I have to smile as I climb onto the bed to soothe her legs. I don’t like to restrain her, but I also don’t want her to hurt herself. As surreal as it seems, she has no control over her leg. She’s only along for the ride; as much a spectator to the show as we are. It makes me wonder how people would have interpreted such behavior hundreds of years ago. In another time, you’d conclude that she was possessed by spirits. No sooner do I think this than her hips begin twisting. She rotates her leg from side to side. We’ve never seen her do this before. Without the slightest sense of irony she observes her shimmying middle and says it for us.
– That’s new!
You might be reading this and thinking how sad it all is, which is why I must assure you that we laughed when Jordan said this. In a way, she dissolved the tension in the room. She has a lovely sense of humor and a healthy point of view. I had to give her a giant kiss on the cheek before I helped her keep her shoulders down. Her body quieted eventually, and we finished our private screening of the John Hughes comedy classic. As much as Ferris makes me laugh, I’m still giggling about my girl. “That’s new!” She was the bigger hit that night.