The Walk of the Familiar

It's deja vu all over again
~ Yogi Berra

I am sitting with my baby boy in my arms, rocking him in my arms. His head nestled up against my chest. I am singing to him, quietly, gently. He rustles and moves to get comfortable. An IV line dangles from his scarred ankle. He periodically lifts his head to look at me, tears rolling down his scared, distressed face. Despite my best efforts, my face mirrors his, with damp eyes the hallmark. My tears are not of fear this time -- but of relief, thanks, resignation.

And of memory.

I’ve been in this position before. Comforting my child after a medical procedure. Bonding with him in an intimate setting.

Before, he was but a baby. Small. Tiny. Not even four pounds.

Now, he’s not a baby anymore. Tall. Strong. Long. Thirty-seven pounds.

Familiar. But not.

Will’s surgery turned out to be almost a non-event, at least from his perspective. His time of distress after coming out of the anesthesia lasted not even an hour. And now, just barely a day later, he is showing no signs of being worse for wear or that he even had any sort of procedure done at all.

Hallelujah. Amen.

I’m armed with Tylenol with Codeine in the event he needs some serious pain relief and an antibiotic to help fend off infection. But thus far, he’s not shown any signs of any pain or discomfort and the antibiotic, flavored with raspberry, is eagerly taken.

Still a bit weary, from the stressful build-up that I invariably created within myself when I have time to think about and process events such as this. And from the accompanying lack of sleep, proper eating and getting rest that always goes hand in hand when I’m worked up about something Will-related. Damn glad this one's over.

Our hospital jaunt was, frankly, weird, when compared to past experiences. While we weren’t privy to the expedient treatment that Will merits with his neurological emergencies, we were signed out and making our way down the sidewalk to our car in time for a late lunch. Fastest visit on record.

I had to laugh at the size of Will’s file that kept getting passed from person to person. A big-ass file, that. I joked with more than one person that we should get frequent flyer miles for our time spent at their facility. It’s just the way it is.

And now that I’ve walked for a bit in the shoes of a parent of a standard-issue kid undergoing a standard-issue medical procedure, I can say that it’s not a lot different than my usual modus operendi. You still worry about your child. Still make sure that his best interest and comfort are the priority.

Except that I suspect that many parents leave that particular pair of shoes at the doors of the hospital when they walk out. Or maybe send them back a short time later, postage paid. And then they go on with business as usual, donning different pairs of footwear as the occasion requires.

For me, the shoes stay with, in heavy wardrobe rotation. There’s no leaving them behind. That’s fine. The style’s not bad at all (although it’s not one I would have chosen at first glance). They’re now completely broken in.

Just don’t look at the heels -- they’re a bit worn down and in need of a boost. (Stop that! I asked you not to look...) And the toes are more than scuffed. In need of a good polish.

But they do go with every outfit I own.

And frankly, they really suit me.

Yes, yes -- they do.

If the shoe fits, it is probably worn out.
~ Craig Bruce

No comments: