Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hey Babe

Suddenly, one day, there was this thing called parenting. Parenting was serious. Parenting was fierce. Parenting was solemn. Parenting was a participle, like going and doing and crusading and worrying; it was active, it was energetic, it was unrelenting.
                      -Nora Ephron

It's been one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where instead of being surprised when something bad happens, you just kind of nod your head and say "well of course."  

Like yesterday morning when I rushed around getting the kids breakfast (brownies, but it's like a doughnut, right?), getting dressed and cleaning (hiding everything in closests and drawers) for the babysitter who would be there any minute.  I was rushing to get JT to the hospital for a bone realignment procedure (basically pushing the broken arm bone back in place to heal correctly).  The babysitter, the fabulous, amazing and half-asleep Chelsea, who happens to be Tim's cousin and Wade's god mother, arrived to watch the kids.  I raced out the door grabbing JT and his favorite stuffed animal BooBoo, jumped in the van and tried to start it and nothing.  I nodded and said "well of course" and ran inside to ask to borrow Chelsea's car.

With this kind of cloud over our heads, a small medical procedure involving anesthesia didn't seem so small.  The hospital is not a place you want to do the whole nod and "of course" routine.

There's nothing like your child in hospital pjs to put life in perspective.  I pushed the worry, superstition and anxiety down deep and focused on my precious boy.

JT looked pretty adorable in his pjs yesterday morning.  
He's not scared or in pain, just making funny faces.
JT wasn't nervous or worried.  He seemed restless and bored.  He was excited that he got to keep the cool new socks.  And he was making small talk with the nurses as they wheeled his bed away from me.  

As I sat in the waiting room I tried to read a book, drink my coffee, make my to-do list...but I couldn't.  I was overcome with emotion.  My chest felt tight and my breath was coming short and fast.  I grabbed my phone to text an apology to Tim for snapping at him the night before and for worrying so much about, well everything.  No phone service.  I made a mental note, "tell Tim how much I love him, love our kids and love our life before I get too cranky with real day-to-day crap."  

Oh because it's true.  I do love my family.  I do love my life.  

That's why when the elderly gentleman in the stiff red jacket came over to me with his clip board and said "okay, ma'am you can come back and see your son in recovery" I leaped out of my seat. Startled, he said he would escort me back to my boy.

He oh-so-slowly led me back to the farthest corner of the room.  I felt like it had been days since I saw my sweet baby in his adorable hospital pjs and cool new socks.  The man opened the curtain, I took a deep breath and there he was--a scared, confused Asian boy.  His eyes widened.  My eyes widened.  Was this my nod and "of course" moment? Had they lost JT?

"This is not my son," I told the man, who was just a volunteer after all, maybe he lost JT.  

He looked down at his clip board and scratched his head.  "It says here, it's your son," he said defiantly.

"Um, well, it's not," I said laughing nervously.

The boy looked like he was getting ready to make a run for it out the back.

A kind nurse came over and helped resolve the situation.  She calmed the terrified boy and led mine.  There he was, my boy, perusing the toy chest, devouring a popsicle.

"Hey mom," he said casually.

I wanted to climb in the bed and snuggle him and smother him with kisses.  He was safe.  Happy.  Alive.  And still freakin adorable. But I knew he was getting too cool for that.  He didn't even want me to hold his hand coming into the hospital or bring his special stuffed animal.  So instead I casually said "Hey babe."

In honor of Nora Ephron, who passed away this week, here's an amazing song from one of her movie's Heartburn--Carly Simon's "Coming Around Again."  I am so relating to this song right now on so many levels. Not divorce levels, but just how love and life changes; marriage is hard, loving and parenting kids is hard.  
Best line in the song is "I believe in love, what else can I do?"

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