In Sidewalk Cracks: Authentic Relationships
In life we play on sidewalk squares.
You on your NT sidewalk square
You jump to my square to help me out
(and so does everyone else)
That I need all the help you can give.
You teach me to copy your ways.
I jump to your square and copy you.
You are happy because I am learning
To copy your ways in the world.
All I have is you helping me
And me copying your ways.
Is it a wonder the feeling of alien predominates?
There is more to jumping over the sidewalk crack.
Together jumping into the crack between
A real relationship in the making
“I have come to understand relationships by looking at sidewalks. I imagine
people each on their own sidewalk square. Growing up I had many helpers.
People who were helpers would jump from their own sidewalk square over to my
sidewalk square. They would stand by me on my sidewalk square and help me.
Eventually, I came to learn their ways.
Once I learned to copy the ways of other people I was allowed to jump over to
their sidewalk square and occupy space with them. This jumping around on
sidewalk squares happened in various ways for most of my life. It wasn’t very
fulfilling. I often felt like an alien, other-ed, sometimes allowed and always oddly
Then I learned something new! I learned about jumping into the sidewalk crack
with another human being. I discovered that in sidewalk cracks is the place of
real relationship. It is the place where we each come as we are and it is perfectly
fine. We are at home with each other in this space regardless of which version of
self we bring that day. As we jump from our square into this sidewalk crack we
find that together we are more than the sum of our individual parts and we find
that each is necessary to the other. It is a relationship of equality based on our
separate commodities of uniqueness.
I have come to learn that even though I do not measure up to be very many
inches when the yardstick of NT normal used, I no longer use these very little bit
of inches to define my human worth. Instead, I count all of my inches that nobody
has yet found a way to measure.” (Endow, 2013, p.208)
In the process of sharing with you I have come up strong and tall. I grew tall,
rising up out of the sidewalk cracks of meaningful friendships. I grew strong in the
sharing with you by deciding to count the inches of my tallness that the NT
yardstick cannot yet measure. I am blessed. My heart is full. I have you, the
reader to thank. If you are still reading, thank you for walking this journey with me
throughout the year. I appreciate you!
JUDY ENDOW, MSW