Monday, February 04, 2008
A little blue bird of distraction
What a strange child you are. A baby and a boy and an old man tucked into one little body.
You cry and I melt. You laugh and I melt. You look at me with what I know intuitively is LOVE and I turn into a melty puddle of goo.
Just the other day we all went as a family to a children’s theater production of one of our favorite books "Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus." As the house lights dimmed I wondered if you'd get scared. The thought had occurred to me as I was buying the tickets, but I knew that whatever happened – even if your screaming filled the auditorium – it wouldn't be the end of the world. Someone -- probably me -- would take you down the aisle and out the door and walk you around the lobby until the fears were replaced by something as astounding as a ceiling fan or swivel chair.
A minute or two before the music boomed loud signaling the beginning of the show, your sister pirouetted out of her seat and landed chin first on the floor. She wasn't hurt, but she wanted her mommy. Your father reached out for you and you sat happily with him while I calmed Annabel and watched your face for signs of angst.
You sat stock still, eyes riveted on the stage. Wherever the players went your gaze followed. You never once looked in my direction. Every time the blue pigeon, with the cockney accent, pecked her way on stage saying 'coo-coo,' you chortled.
It was strange to sit next to you in the theater. That hour of comfortable silence, with not so much as a peep or fidget from you a seat away, made me see you how others tell me they see you, too. How people marvel at your ability to "just hang out." You are the fabled child I've heard stories about; the one who tenaciously tries to get that thing just out of their reach without getting frustrated. You just quietly get on with the business at hand.
As we get to know your personality, there are other things we've always known. Things always at the back of our minds.
Lately I've been writing around what's been going on in my mind: Your left kidney.
Instead of writing about the Lasix renogram we have scheduled for tomorrow, I’ve been obsessing about the state of perpetual Christmas in our house, one-liners and one-hitters that could make me NOT think about the fact that for at least two hours tomorrow morning somebody in a white coat is going to strap you to a table, prick you with a needle and watch as radioactive isotopes go snaking through your tiny body.
As my heart breaks listening to you cry, these people in scrubs will just be doing their jobs.
I agonized over this decision to go through with the test. I asked all the questions I could ask of the people who file your charts in their offices. I even finished my eighth year of schooling at the Dr. Google Academy of Second Guesses and came to terms with the procedure.
If you were older (like as old as me) I believe this test would be a snap. But you are not older. And I can not take the test for you. And the test may very well seem like torture.
Its difficult to be the parent right now because of the impossible position: I want this test to prove that you are fine and your kidney is functioning well, but I don't want the procedure to have been unnecessary. I didn't want to see you strapped down ever again, and yet I can't be your mother and not keep my eyes open the whole time.
I just wish there could be an irreverent blue pigeon to waddle into the middle of it all and take our minds off it.