It started with some loud and inconsistent snoring, then grumpy mornings that evolved into cranky and impulsive school days so after several discussions with his pediatrician and a specialist, Atticus had his tonsils and adenoids removed this Tuesday.
Like most things that are big deals...I felt like I could handle it with ease.
I do that:
I worry over little things like the bath mat not matching the shower curtain and under prepare when things are serious like my child having the back of his throat cauterized.
I bought the things you're told to buy for this sort of ordeal...Popsicles, pudding, juice, applesauce, mashed potatoes.
We bought him a Kindle and loaded it up with all the games that he isn't usually allowed to play for days on end and told him to zone out whenever he wants.
I bought him a book about having your tonsils removed and read it beforehand.
I took most of the week off of work and prepared food for myself so that I wouldn't forget to eat.
I sent his father details on what to expect, gave him a shopping list and a schedule for when to give Atticus his medicine.
I thought I had it figured out.
I asked Facebook for encouragement and support but nothing can prepare you for a big-eyed 6 year old who can't swallow and is desperately trying to tell you that he hates you for doing this to him and then immediately apologizing for using the word 'hate'.
I'm on day 5 of feeling like an asshole and trying to remind myself that this will pass.
I've been a caregiver before.
I've been sick before.
Sick people don't like you.
They don't like anything or anyone and for good reason...physical pain can be overwhelming and my boy is able to pause and breath but he's also a little kid who didn't ask for this and he is pissed.
I feel ridiculously clueless.
I feel sad and incredibly arrogant for thinking that we would get through this quickly.
It's like everything...pretending it doesn't hurt, thinking that it's not really going to be this way doesn't fix it or make the unpleasant suddenly say "oh...this isn't a good time? I will come back later or maybe not at all"....it doesn't have an agenda, it just is.
The next few days will continue to challenge us.
It continues to challenge me from taking it so personally.
I'm the mom.
I have to fix this:
If I can just find the right pudding flavor then he will eat it, if I can use a different tone of voice then the next time I ask him to take a sip of water...it'll be easier for him to swallow.
Last night, I found myself holding my breath, crossing my fingers and hoping that the next sip of water wouldn't be as painful as the last and I realized again how much the little things matter.
One sip of water.
A spoonful of honey.
A deep breath.
Everything is important.
His tears tell me he's hydrated.
His desire to scream tells me he's still a feisty spirit despite feeling such sadness at the same time.
Anything I can get him to swallow is a gigantic victory and one I usually take for granted.
I'm humbled and exhausted and find myself wondering if this was the wrong thing to do but I know it wasn't despite feeling so shitty right now.
Everything is ephemeral, I know that but it's not easy to explain that to a 6 year old so...
this is where that lesson will start.
It will start with a moment that will happen soon in which the pain is gone, the sips turn into gulps and the screams come out loud and clear and have nothing to do with a sore throat but wanting me to shut the door so he can have privacy in the bathroom, again.
Then we will remember what was and that life is constantly changing.