Monday, March 30, 2015

Was there?

I was trying to explain to L why he doesn't get his own iPad like all his little friends at school.  

The conversation turned, naturally, to my own childhood.  "We didn't even have a computer when I was your age," et all.

He was sobered.  "Did you have a tv?" "Yes, one, but kids' shows only came on on Saturday morning." (Not entirely true, because my brother and sister and I watched Square 1 and half of 321 Contact every day after school, but basically.)

But did you have a Wii?"  
"No, there were no Wiis."

Silence, then in a whisper:

"Was there chess?"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Don't panic

Turns out, you don't think of the chess piece's name when you're playing.  So my clever, hand-made, recycled-cereal-box chess set with lettered chessmen is useless because it's almost impossible to play when the pieces are all the same shape. You can't "see" the moves.

I should throw the whole thing in the trash but we worked on it for over an hour...  

The cereal, though!  Yum!  ZVOK: It's like additive-free Kix.  For some unexplainable reason, it is packed in single-serving pouches inside a regular cereal box.  But look:

This is my new slogan.

The beggar

M ran to the very edge of the soccer field and whisper-shouted urgently: "I saw an armless, blind beggar last night on the way back to the hospital."  

I was still trying to figure out where this was coming from when he turned and ran back toward his position, calling over his shoulder: "I didn't make fun of him, I had compassion!"

He tries so hard.  He is not the most well-behaved child I know.  He is struck by silly whims and has the immature sense of humor of, well... a six year old boy.  He is the type of child who bursts into a room, talking too loudly.  He shouts out answers excitedly and then claps his hand over his mouth with an audible gasp when he realizes what he's done.  He's the one who plops down on the learning carpet with a crash and doesn't realize he is sitting on someone's hand.  He's always, always, always bothering someone unintentionally. 

But he is so kindhearted.  He wracks his brain for ways to serve: offering to carry his brother's backpack, bringing us drinks of water, or putting away a classmate's mat if they are out of the room for special services. 

"Hope you have a good day teaching!" "Hope you have a nice time driving a taxi! "Hope you have a good day taking care of patients!"  He scrambles to think of well-wishes for everyone he meets.

His mouth contorts as he tries not to smile, tries to be humble when he's praised for his thoughtfulness.  How can he be so good and so much trouble at the same time?

Last night, the lights were out in the hospital room, and we had all found a place to sleep for the night.  Suddenly, I felt like I was being watched and opened my eyes to see him leaning over me, studying my face.

"What are you doing!?" I hissed.  "You're supposed to be asleep!"

"Sorry! I just wanted to make sure the armless beggar wasn't haunting your dreams."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrong parent

Today M had his first soccer game. Whim was with L at the hospital and couldn't be there.  It was right after school, and there was no time for musical guardians.

I was there, but I was the wrong parent.  I know nothing about soccer.  I helped him get into his new shin guards and took a few pictures.  I cheered when he kicked the ball and hugged him afterward but I had no words of advice except "listen to your coach."  A first soccer game is special, but I know it didn't mean something to me the way it meant something to Whim.

I'll admit there were even moments when I was chatting with another mom and forgot to watch.  But not many.  He was so cute in his new socks, I didn't want to miss anything.

In the same vein, Whim brought L to the hospital late Tuesday night.  M and I had school in the morning, so it made sense for Whim to be the one that took him. He'd be staying with him the next day, anyway.  But he was the wrong parent.

He carried him to the car and remembered his blue blanket, and drove him in and I'm sure he comforted him as much as he could, but he's just not the sick-in-the-hospital parent.  I am.

I shuddered later when L recounted how he "had to be brave and manage it" when he was getting his shots because Papa was asleep.  What?!  Granted, it was after 2 am, and he's only human.  But I would have held his hand and distracted him with math problems and movie lines...

Where's the label remover?

L hasn't had a seizure in ages.  He's never even had one at school.

Being back in the hospital again has me thinking.  He has probably (definitely) had more cases of pneumonia than seizures in the last 6 months.  

I don't think of him as a Kid Who Gets Pneumonia.  At all.  But I still totally think of him as a Kid Who Has Seizures.  It's probably time to update that label to Kid Who Used To Have Seizures.

But I know how it works.  As soon as I start thinking that way, he's bound to start up again.