Tomorrow is the first day of school for my children. The Big Angel will be in the fifth grade, and here that means his final year of elementary school; Little Angel will be in the third grade, and providence has smiled upon us for his beloved first grade teacher is now teaching third grade and asked to have him again in her class. She is a wonderful woman of whom I am terrifically fond, both personally and professionally. She dressed a bit like a Druid which, I confess, made me like her even more! Little Angel spends the bulk of his school day outside her classroom, in the dedicated Special Ed classroom, because it is a safer, more benign, more appropriate space for him. And from the moment he leaves our house on his cute white wheelchair bus to the moment that bus brings him home he has a one-on-one with him at all times; on the bus his aide is a warm fuzzy of a woman named Jessica.
Last night I finally painted my toenails (I was about a week overdue and it was disproportionately bumming me out) my beloved RED color (I’d had an aberrant moment last month when I painted them fuschia which while it is my all-time favorite color it is sadly not my favorite nail polish color, go figure). I am meticulous in this endeavour but luckily I have a rich inner life so I day dream. I didn’t call these images up: they came to me unbidden.
I remembered the day Big Angel started walking, wearing an adorable smocked seersucker bubble, in his French music class.
that’s him, second from the left, underneath the teacher’s right shoulder
I remembered the day Little Angel started walking; he was two years, nine days old. He’d awoken from his nap toward the end of Big Angel’s fourth birthday party.
It had taken a team of therapists over a year to get him to be able to walk, and I am telling you as surely as I have bright red toenails, it was MAGIC! Once he started that was it — go go go.
I thought of how Little Angel always wakes up in a good mood. Pre-catastrophic regression when we’d go into his room every morning or after his nap he’d be sitting or standing in his crib, sporting a grand smile, and say in the jolliest voice “Good morning!” He still wakes up in such a sweet, smiley mood. We are so lucky.
I remembered how Big Angel used to daily feed our bevy of quail.
I thought of how just that day I was feeding Little Angel some cilantro lime rice topped with sauteed onion and corn (we call this “taco”) and I was snacking on chocolate-covered goji berries: he reached out and stole a handful of my berries and somehow got them in his mouth. Copious chocolate drool then dribbled out the sides of his mouth, and he giggled and smiled, so I laughed too. I told him he was a choco-taco thief, and he laughed and laughed. That turkey was telling me jokes, and I was and am so grateful for these pieces of him, of his essence. He’s in there. He is in there.
It took months of research and following through but I found a new neurologist / epileptologist for Little Angel, and he (the doc) was astonished why Little Angel’s previous epi (who is the head of pediatric neuro at the med school and associated hospital) was so asleep at the wheel (my expression). Yeah, uh, that’s why I was shopping around! The new neuro was very disturbed that the previous neuro had not wanted to see Little Angel after the advent of his new seizures (me too) and as disturbed that no new med had been suggested to help control / ameliorate these seizures. Ditto. He recommended a new med which Little Angel started two days later and within two days of that his daytime seizures were GONE. He still exhibits suspicious behavior (like an aura), but thus far (and knock wood), no seizures. Of course we’ve no idea if the new med is helping his nighttime subclinical status (it will take an EEG for that), but we are so excited and so grateful for what we are seeing in Mr. Handsome. Thus far he’s also not demonstrated any of the ill side effects of this new rx, so double yea!
I’ll always find a reason to be put out, to be pissed about something — that’s definitely in my mtDNA — but thinking of my delicious sons past and present, and now Little Angel’s improvement fills me with such bliss.
Look how lucky I am!