Archive for April, 2011


Calls From Sheila

April 28th, 2011 at 5:05 pm » Comments (3)

Last night i went to bed, there were two hours of blissful rest. And then four elbows and feet came and smashed into my shoulder blades and legs for the rest of the night. Caden-7yr and Seth-5yr knew there was plenty of room in that bed for them AND their pointy elbows. This morning, I was kinda tense and bruised and tired and  all worked up over nothing. And everything.

I got out of a class at the gym and saw that I’d missed a call from the School Nurse and I irrationally burst into tears before I could successfully return her call. The thought of another hurt child was too much after The Sleepless Night of Many Elbows. It turned out to be a teacher using the School Nurse’s phone to ask a question about a fundraiser.

I read Mysti’s sweet comment on the previous post, took a deep breath, and decided I’d be fine. And i was. I emailed Mysti and sheepishly confessed I’d just cried in a parking lot over a missed call from someone Not The School Nurse and her timing with that encouragement was completely divine, thank you, thank you, Mysti.

A few hours later the School Nurse called.

About Ethan-11yr.

Well, of COURSE she did.  I answered the phone and she said, “Hi, Kelsey.” She didn’t identify herself, and she knew she didn’t need to. I know this woman’s voice. She knows mine. We’ve bonded this month, Sheila and I.

This month Ethan-11yr  has had a small log impaled into his knee AND a massive head injury – neither of which he’s recovered from –  and now… he was covered in a “rash that felt like a lot of pinpricks.”  Sheila thought it was 5ths Disease.

Lovely.

I think 5ths Disease is something that sounds worse than it is. And it sounds like butterflies and chocolate pie when you compare it to a School Nurse Call about a concussion.

I grabbed a bottle of Benadryl, canceled my plans to go hold a friend’s new baby girl, and went to school. Ethan-11yr’s arms were rashy. His face looked pink and rashy, and he was starting to rub his neck a lot. His temperature was 98.5, but he’s like me and we have REALLY low normal body temperatures and so 98.5  technically IS a fever for him.

We had an hour to go before getting his brothers, so I took him to a drugstore and bought Easter chocolate on clearance. Ethan-11yr, who is suddenly observant and disturbingly sensitive,  said, “Awww. You’re upset about me and need chocolate, huh?”

I have taught my children awful things about emotional eating this month. I’d like a chance to model a healthier way of living, really, but THEY HAVE TO STOP GETTING HURT FIRST. Like, NOW.

[Yes, of course I see the error in that thought process, but I don't care. Pass the Cadbury mini eggs, please.]

As I drove to school, I was on the phone telling my mother that Ethan-11yr’s personality is indeed different post-head injury. Whereas before he was a know it all, quick to criticize and impatient… now he’s sunny and sweet and generous and thoughtful.

Caden-7yr has apparently decided that someone must fill the void of cranky know-it-all, and he has gallantly stepped up to the plate. Everything I do or say, he criticizes or questions. He’s irritable and judgmental and has a lot to say all the time about everything.

It’s like one of those movies where two characters with opposite personalities somehow get stuck in each other’s bodies. THAT is what is happening in our home, and let me tell you…  It’s creepy.

As much as I’d like my Ethan-11yr back to his normal creative and opinionated self… i’d also like my sweet, sunny Caden-7yr back.

Mike’s out of town, and at this rate, he won’t understand anything about anyone when he gets back.

(If I start picking my nose all the time and insist on wearing mismatched socks, it means I’ve switched with Seth-5yr.)


Calm Down and Listen to the Dog

April 27th, 2011 at 11:42 pm » Comments (2)

Yesterday I sat on the living room floor with Ethan-11yr and played a card game he’d gotten for Easter. It… didn’t really go all that well. The post-concussion Ethan-11yr has a hard time with short term memory, numbers, and attention span. All of those mattered in the playing of that simple card game. Normally he would have been thinking several plays ahead and strategizing for both of us. Yesterday, I needed to talk him through most of his turns.

It’s supposed to be awhile before all this returns to normal. 6 more weeks, maybe. His attitude is cheerful… in fact, I’d even say that since his head injury he’s significantly more kind. Generous. Cheerful. Sweet.

That’s how I would describe Caden-7yr. And Seth-5yr.  It’s not exactly how I ever would have described Ethan-11yr prior to the head injury. Not that he was a beast or anything… but he was driven, creative, focused, opinionated and really caught up in himself a lot. Now he”ll stop what he’s doing to offer to help a brother with something. Or he’ll share without being asked. Or offer kind, thoughtful compliments to pretty much anyone.  He’s patient. Compassionate. Loving. The child is freakishly sunny.

So much so, that I am a bit disturbed by all of it. I think personality or mood changes after a brain injury are common, but most of what I could find online was about the negative changes in mood or personality. These are not negative changes.

Except I do miss my driven, ambitious, know-it-all, and I’d really like him back, please.  He started speaking in complete sentences WAY too young,  just so he could tell me everything that I was doing wrong as his mother. He started criticizing my driving and navigation skills when he was 18 months old, and telling me what roads I should be on instead.

Now he smiles sweetly and asks me where we’re going, because he forgot.

Or he’ll tell me I did something right.

And it makes me sad.

I just hope he’s okay, and will return to himself one day soon. If not, I could really get used to this new version.  But I don’t want to. And I feel awful writing that, because what if he never goes back to the pre-injury kid and I keep waiting and then… how unfair that would be to him. Even thinking it feels unfair and ungrateful and impatient.

So I guess what I’m saying is Ethan-11yr is recovering beautifully, and had a personality makeover, and I am freaking out anyway and sitting on the couch crying with a computer and a roll of toilet paper because my kid is so nice it’s scary and  i forgot to get tissues at the grocery store today.

Duke is sitting in front of me, silently begging me to go to bed. He won’t go without me. So wrap up the pity party, lady, and let’s go, please, I’m soooo tired.

Yeah, all right.


Jack Asked

April 26th, 2011 at 4:44 pm » Comments (6)

*Caden-7yr reads aloud for homework. He does this a few times a week, and we both enjoy it. But today he’s reading some story that repeats the unfortunate phrase, “Jack asked.” It kinda does not sound like “Jack asked” when Caden-7yr reads it. Over and over. Did the author NOT read that aloud? I completely cracked up and fell apart after the 3rd or 4th “Jack asked” and stunned Caden-7yr, who was a bit bored with the story. And it was boring – except for the hilarity of all the “Jack askeds”  there really wasn’t anything special going on in that story.

*The cat is following in the example of the dog and is running around naked. Duke alarmed the boys by stripping and leaving his collar discarded in the backyard. We found the cat’s collar on the living room floor just now. He might be protesting because it’s baby pink and silver. I got tired of not being able to buy girly things for a child or a pet and just went ahead and made the cat a crossdresser last year and started buying pink, girly collars. Mike was the only one who objected.

*I’m happily finishing up classes and spending much more time outside with plants and seeds and weeds and flowers. I LOVE this time of year. Except the other day Seth-5yr found a hibernating frog. Mike said that Seth-5yr picked it up and its eyes rolled back in its head as if to say, “oooh, i’m still so tired, please put me back.” Which he did. I was hoping the frogs were GONE. Last year they totally took over and we had to catch and release them elsewhere by the hundreds. Maybe that sleeping one is lonely.  No friends. The Lone Ranger of Frogs.

*It’s really windy here. As it often is.  Not breezy. WINDY. Wind here will knock you down,  steal anything in your yard that is not bolted down, and dry up any water the farmers have managed to get into the soil. We’re really not supposed to like the wind. It’s politically correct to gripe about the wind. It creates wildfire hazards, blows dirt until there’s no visibility, and it’s kinda an all around pain. But, secretly, I do like the wind. I also like turbulence, though, and for a similar reason. Both can shake you up and make you take notice of your surroundings in a new, somewhat exciting way- I appreciate that quality. Just going outside to get the mail is an adventure because you might get hit by something, or you might get blown off course if you’re not careful.

I suppose if 1st grade homework, wind, sleeping frogs, and gender bendering the cat are the things on my mind… I have a fairly dull life. Good thing I like it like that.


Easter Sunday Smackdown

April 25th, 2011 at 8:20 pm » Comments (6)

Yesterday after the Easter church service, a very angry woman confronted Mike in a (non-church) parking lot and told him off.

I was on the other side of the car, not directly witnessing the conversation, but thinking, “Oh, AMEN, sister that is EXACTLY what I’m talking about half the time.”

[I'm SO nice]

Perhaps if I’d seen how REALLY angry she was, or heard exactly how she was speaking to my dear husband, I mighta been a bit more, um, appropriately on his side. But I didn’t. All I knew was that that lady in the parking lot was saying everything I’d said to him the day before about watching and not cutting people off and looking out for other people. She’s just, well, a more forceful communicator.

I tend to tense up in the passenger seat, get really silent, and then right as we’re pulling out in front of someone else in a thoroughly unfortunate manner, squeak, “THERE’S A TRUCK THERE!” And Mike always says, “But I didn’t see it,” as if this explains everything. And then I say, “But it’s your responsibility to LOOK and to SEE it because YOU ARE THE DRIVER.”

Mike is one of the most generous people I know. If he sees you, and for any reason thinks you are in need, then watch out. He will pour blessings on you until you drown. But the key component with that is that first he must see you. And he often does not see people. Anyone. Everyone. No one. It’s nothing personal. It’s just him.

Mike is that guy in the grocery store whose shopping basket will block the aisle until you smile sweetly and say, “excuse me.” And he’ll smile back and apologize with great sincerity and then move over.

And then he’ll do the exact same thing on the next aisle. And the next. And the next. With genuine sincerity each and every time. And he’s not trying to start up a conversation with you. He’s just in his own little world until you interrupt briefly and then he’s back there again right up until you interrupt him again on the next aisle.

It’s the same when he drives. He does not MEAN to be inconsiderate. He really doesn’t see you. He’ll cut you off, steal your parking space, and zoom ahead when he does not have the right-of-way by ANY stretch of the imagination. But he really, REALLY did not see you.

Some people will SEE you and then decide your presence is not worth their consideration. And that is not Mike.

It might not feel like that big a difference, but it is. I think. I mean, it’s not right. At all. Which is why we have an ongoing tense discussion about it every time he drives. Which isn’t often, because he’s not around much and when he is we don’t really go places together in one car. We tend to meet up at places instead. This is a very good strategy.  And we almost never go to the grocery store together. When we do, I’m that wife who is constantly pulling that husband out of your way by tugging oh so patiently on his arm. Over and over.

After the Easter Sunday Parking Lot Smackdown, in which Mike was soundly and shockingly defeated in a surprise attack – he was grumpy. He was silent. And then he was grumpy some more. When we were hiding eggs later, I called him the Grumpiest Easter Bunny Ever and he said, “But she was really mean.” He didn’t steal that woman’s parking space on purpose. He honestly would not EVER do that, much less on Easter right after church. He just didn’t see her there, much less see her angry confrontation coming his way.

I know what that’s like. When a stranger suddenly gets mad at you and you have NO idea what you did until they yell it at you and the whole thing catches you by surprise. It’s a nasty feeling. Some guy in the neighborhood did that to me last year because of a dog conflict I never understood. It upset me a lot. It would have upset me even more if Mike were standing there calmly explaining exactly why I probably deserved that sort of treatment.

Which is what I did. Lovely, right? I think it was, “I’m sorry she treated you like that, but your part is that you consistently drive in such a way that creates these scenarios.” I’m betting he probably only felt and heard that last part.

And that last part? I’ve been saying different versions of that  for years. Even though it hasn’t helped a bit. Maybe it’s time that I stop.

Have you ever been cut off on the freeway by some guy and then looked to see if his wife in the passenger seat was hitting him over the head for you? I have. Even though the only driver on the planet who can really make me mad is Mike. I generally just can’t get that upset. But I still check to see if the wife is reacting to her jerk of a husband in a way that I can appreciate. And other times I check and see a wife staring off, pretending not to have noticed or cared that her husband has just behaved very badly. When THAT happens, I get irritated with both of them. She may not have been driving, but she was there and ignored it. Hit your man over the head and be a true “helpmeet” just like Genesis says, woman! At least give him a dirty look. Something!

But now… maybe I’ve been too hard on those women. Maybe they’ve just realized that their feedback is pointless and it’d be better for their sanity to just let it go. I never really liked those women. I’d  hate to turn into one. But I won’t judge them quite so much from now on.

He probably just didn’t see me, anyway.

It happens.


Easter Candy Lessons

April 22nd, 2011 at 10:36 am » Comments (5)

Yesterday the kids got out of school for Easter break and they were laden with Easter goodies and candy. Since it’s a Christian school, some of it was more holy than others. Some of it came with religious teaching attached or as part of a lesson to impart the message of Jesus’ resurrection. I’m good with that. I happen to think that candy for candy’s sake glorifies God all on its own if it’s tasty enough, but if you want to try to teach a kid something about Jesus WITH that candy, then more power to ya.

Caden-7yr asked if he could read a poem and then share jelly beans with his brothers. “Of course,” I said, and shhhed the brothers so they would pay attention.

Caden-7yr reverently opened a plastic lavender Easter egg and held 8 jelly beans in his hand as he read a poem about the significance of each color as it pertained to Easter. I wondered how dirty his hand was.

I remembered my best friend in junior high and high school, Beth,  and how once we’d been at a Methodist church camp and a lady had told a WAY TOO LONG story that was similar to Caden-7yr’s brief poem. This woman had a very thick accent and I can still hear her voice – easily – if I try. As she told her story to the campers, she would name a color and tell us what it symbolized. She would then pour a dixie cup of that color paint over a white ceramic woman’s head. The ceramic woman was named Grace. Actually, with that lady’s accent, the ceramic lady was named Graaaaaaaace. And as the church camp lady poured a dixie cup of black paint over Graaaaaaaace’s head she said, “Graaaaaaaace exPEEEReeeuhnced seeee-uhn.” I’d never heard of sin being called seeee-uhn, so I was somewhat interested. At the end she poured something over Graaaaace’s head that symbolized Jesus’ blood and Graaaaaaaace dramatically turned back to pure, white ceramic perfection.

At the time, I did not value that part of the story.

I greatly valued the part about how Graaaaace exPEEEReeeuhnced seeeee-uhn. That was both fascinating and comical. After that, any time my friend Beth and I were somewhere and we saw a girl do something morally wrong – or if one of us was the perpetrator – one of us would invariably whisper that accented refrain to the other one.

But yesterday after school, we all listened politely to Caden-7yr’s poem and offered perfectly wise and mature feedback on the religious importance. Because my elementary aged children and I are so much more mature than I was in high school. Then Caden-7yr distributed jelly beans. I asked if anyone actually liked jelly beans. I don’t. I think they’re disgusting. But no one answered.

Then… there was a dramatic and unholy yelling and spitting from the backseat. Caden-7yr was foaming black bits at the mouth and gagging. And yelling his precious baby head off. “OH MY GOSH THAT TASTES SOOOOOO BAD. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT BLACK JELLY BEAN, IT IS NAAAASTY!”

“Well. It was the sin jelly bean,” I say. “Go ahead and spit it into the Easter egg.”

“SIN TASTES SOOOO BAD. THE SIN JELLYBEAN IS SO! GROSS! OH! WOW, THAT’S NASTY! SIN IS BAAAAAD.”

He gags and spits it out and goes on for a bit. He’s a dramatic kid, that one. When he calms down,  he announces he will try the white jelly bean. “What’s the white one for…?”

“Grace. Weren’t you listening to yourself?” I ask.

“Yes. But I forgot,” he says, and pops the white jelly bean into his mouth. “OOOOH NASTY! THAT’S SO GROSS. GRACE IS NOT ANY BETTER. YOU WOULD [spit, spit, gag] THINK THAT GRACE WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER THAN SIN, BUT IT ISN’T AND IT TASTES JUST AS BAD!”

“Caden-7yr. Do you think maybe you just don’t like jelly beans? I don’t. It’s okay. You don’t have to eat them.”

There was one more jelly bean. Pink. It symbolized New Tomorrows. He gagged it down and lamented how New Tomorrows should really taste a lot better than sin and maybe nearly as good as grace, but that it didn’t work that way.

His brothers gobbled up whatever colors of jellybeans they’d been given, said thanks,  and gave no comment or thought to their flavor or religious meaning. Seth-5yr was discussing how he’d done an art project and used a “yot of gyue on uh Easter chick and it had got my hands very, very hairy. VERY gyue-y and then VERY hairy.” He held his hands out for inspection, and he was indeed covered in yellow faux chick fur.  But he seemed happy about it.

Ethan-11yr discussed an Easter recipe we should make involving dough and marshmallows. “The marshmallow, inside the dough, somehow disappears during baking. It totally represents the empty tomb, Mom!”

“Yeah, I got that. But I went to two grocery stores looking for good sushi today and I don’t really want to go back again.”

Keep in mind that this is my child who is Still Obviously Recovering From A Head Injury and who is Totally Used To Getting His Way On Everything Right Now Because We Feel SO Bad. And I’d just said no, I don’t want to go to the grocery store. He was surprised.

“Really, Mom? You’ll go to TWO grocery stores for sushi but you won’t go back FOR THE EMPTY TOMB?”


A List of Not Much (But It’s WAY Better Reading Than What I Should Be Writing)

April 21st, 2011 at 1:15 pm » Comments (6)

* There was a three boy alert this morning when someone realized the dog had taken off his collar somewhere and was running around completely naked. Shocking. Duke is normally so reserved. The collar was found – outside – and then they all watched as I “dressed” the dog.

* Seth-5yr: “you do yots of teengs for me that you do not do for my buddahs just because i am better at my pyease and thank yous.” And… it’s true. Seth-5yr turns on the charm, dimples,  AND the manners and I’m suddenly more than happy to oblige most of his adorable little whims.

* He’s particularly impossible to resist when he throws his little arms around my neck and kisses my cheek and then says, “Wait. Do  you have on yip’tick?” (If I say no, I get to kiss him back.)

* about a month ago Mike wanted me to drop off a bunch of folding chairs to him. I was supposed to go to the restaurant where he was eating and load them into the back of his truck. No problem. I was on my way when i got a text with a photo of his truck. No explanation. Just the photo of the truck in the parking lot, license plate visible. What this text meant of course, was “don’t see another black truck, load up the folding chairs into it, and then start taking your clothes off for any reason.” As if I’d do that. I mean, some mistakes you only make once, gimme some credit.

* Ethan-11yr’s attitude is cheerful and sunny. He’s having memory issues and difficulty with math. We’re thinking it’ll be weeks or months before it resolves. But his outlook about it all is surprisingly positive and that must be helping more than I can imagine. I’m glad we’re nearing the end of the school year.

* This year I’ve added the School Nurse to my list of Beloved Teacher Types I give end of school gifts to. She’s practically family now.

* I never even got a chance to tell y’all about how The Night Before The Concussion I burned Caden-7yr’s elbow on a hot pan and then handled the whole thing very badly because he decided somehow that i did it on purpose. I’m calm in times of injury, but if you think the most overprotective mama ever just intentionally burned an elbow…? Then I TOTALLY LOSE IT. Like, FORGET THE FIRST AID, BUSTER. Are you KIDDING ME? Yeah. Nothing says, “I love you and adore you, baby, and would NEVER hurt you like that” more than “YOU THINK WHAT? GO TO YOUR ROOM!” It wasn’t my finest mothering moment. My delaying-medical-care-flipout lasted a couple minutes and then i got it together long enough to put his elbow in flour (awesome, effective burn treatment) and then laugh and cry and beg forgiveness for all my awfulness. His tears mixed with mine in the flour canister and made glue.  And can I just say… I did not SEE his elbow.

*That’ll teach him to ask for seconds.

*Last night Seth-5yr asked for seconds (cous cous, his favorite), and then hopped up and walked TEN FEET from the table and waited patiently while I loaded up his plate. Then he said, “Thank you, Mama! I yuv cous cous. And my elbow did not get bairned!”

*bairned is harder to say that burned, but that’s all right.  I was glad no one got bairned either.

*Caden-7yr ran into school like his pants were on fire this morning. He’d asked permission first, and I of course said yes. It was an emergency, after all. He had been made aware of his hair sticking up in an unfortunate manner on the way to school and he’d been unable to fix it with spit.  Though he did give it such a mighty try, I figured he’ll be thirsty all day.  These things matter greatly to Caden-7yr, whose hair normally arranges itself perfectly every day with no effort needed.

*I was passing by the boys’ bathroom just as Caden-7yr turned on the light and and saw his reflection in the mirror. His “Oh! My! GOSH!” could be heard by all the elementary kids in the hallway at 8:10 this morning.

*Junior High will be fun with that one. He came out with soaking wet hair plastered to his head and acting as if this was perfectly normal to casually walk – dripping – to his first grade classroom.

* This list is what I chose to write instead of a term paper that will have to feature the case of Lorena Bobbitt and how she served no prison time for severing a penis.

*Except now I’ve stalled all I can.

*I was trying to come up with something else to end with, so that’s not the final impression. But really? I don’t think it would work. Once you use the words ‘severing a penis’ in a blog post you can’t just add an asterisk and then say, “I’m planting white geraniums later today if it warms up some” and erase the earlier thought, right? It just doesn’t work that way. Or maybe it does. I don’t know.

*I’m planting white geraniums later today if it warms up some. It’s only supposed to get to 81, and that is still cold to me.


Write What You Know (or whatever it is you can’t stop thinking about)

April 20th, 2011 at 1:35 pm » Comments (3)

I really need to write something that has nothing to do with head injuries. That’s all I think about. And later I have to write a term paper on the bias against male victims of female perpetrated crimes and THAT will be about as much fun as thinking long and hard about concussions so let’s not talk about anything like that for just a second here, please and thank you?

*I saw a welcome mat blowing down the road earlier. It was a sad, sad sight. Here, you better buy the really thick and heavy welcome mats or this is what happens. It was probably the welcome mat from the home of a happy couple who just moved in from another part of the state and had no idea that their mat was not suitable for our winds.  Maybe it will keep going until it finds another front porch of a home far far away in a less windy land. Or it’ll burn up in a wildfire.

*A friend had a baby yesterday. I’ve seen one camera phone type picture, but really, you can just tell – this baby girl is GORGEOUS. Perfect. Adorable. Baby. I think I really need to hold her soon.

**** Okay.

I give up. I can’t do it. I got two points on a sad little list and then stared at the computer forever because all I could think of were head injury things. So yeah, giving up.

And NOW, a Head Injury Story:

Yesterday I took a break from helping Ethan-11yr with his math homework to go watch Caden-7yr do a “trick” on his bike on the basketball court. I was going to be outside for less than five minutes. But when Ethan-11yr asked if he could come, I thought about it and said no. It just didn’t seem like the safest place for him. Better leave him in the carpeted living room with the furniture with too many pillows, right?

So Caden-7yr does something on his bike that makes my heart stop, and I clap and pretend not to be worried, and then go inside. Ethan-11yr is holding his head and he’s in pain. He tripped. The dog got excited over the idea of going outside and then bumped into Ethan-11yr’s head because he was already on the ground, having just tripped.

Some things just can’t be predicted or prevented, even when there’s a hypervigilant mommy type on duty.

I really wish that weren’t true.


Unremarkable

April 18th, 2011 at 9:07 pm » Comments (5)

Y’all are amazing. Thank you.

Ethan-11yr has a nasty concussion, but the MRI showed nothing scary going on in the IntraCranial Department. There was much ‘all is fine’ in that department, and I am quite relieved. Actually the word used over and over to describe various perfectly normal parts of the MRI findings was ‘unremarkable.’   It’s my favorite word of the day. Unremarkable. There’s nothing abnormal or crazy to see here on this child’s brain right now and so it’s medically… unremarkable.  No big masses or hemorrhages here to remark about, so it’s unremarkable.

Fantastically reassuring, that word.

I didn’t want to know the scary details of head injuries. So I didn’t really want to tell you guys. Because y’all are so smart, of course you know these things and might tell me, and after all, I was already secretly plagued by thoughts of beautiful Natasha Richardson and how everyone thought she was just fine after that skiing accident and then poof she died. And that scared me a whole whole lot – so much so that I wouldn’t even mention that to anyone. That’s how I know what’s really bothering me. It’s too awful to voice.

I was okay. Only crying in my closet with my overflowing sock drawer. Then we went to church and they had to start in with the Jesus Music. And nothing will undo me faster than Jesus Music. I had Ethan-11yr on one side of me (so that he could rest the non-concussed side of his head on my shoulder) and Caden-7yr on the other side. At one point Caden-7yr reacts to my slightly damp, snotted hand on his neck and whispers, “What? Why is your hand wet?” and then he sees my Mess Of A Tear Stained Face and does one of those full body shudders combined with dramatic eye fluttering/rolling back in the head moves that thoroughly communicates the message, “Oh GOD, get me a new mother this one is just not gonna do.” Ethan-11yr sees his brother and looks at me and then gets all wigged out, too, and is all “WHAT? Why are you crying?” and looked utterly shocked when I whispered that,  ”it kinda UPSETS me that you are this hurt.”

Mike notices the scene and goes to get tissues. I actually had some in my purse but was operating under the assumption that If I Don’t Use A Tissue, I’m Still FINE and NOT REALLY CRYING Up A Storm Back Here.

The boys both looked mortified that I was such a public mess.  As if I’m not a public mess regularly in some form or another, and they should well be used to it. But the Jesus Music will do that every time to an emotional wreck of a mama, and I kinda just didn’t care. Embarrassing them was way at the bottom of list of things to worry about that day.  Also? Bonus points to me because it was SUNDAY, and the ridiculous Head Injury Birthday was on Thursday, and I’m thinking those babies are real lucky I didn’t just spew endless tears from the moment it happened until today when we got the really great MRI results back and I felt like I could breathe again.

Ethan-11yr is not himself yet. I don’t know how long that will last. He’ll go back to school tomorrow, and I’m okay with that. But he has a lot of difficulty with math still. I checked his work today and talked him through how it was all right that it was so much harder all of a sudden and to just breathe. He’s been having trouble finding the right words when he’s speaking. He’ll trail off and not finish a sentence or a thought and then forget he was speaking. He’ll think he has done something that has been asked of him, and forget that he hasn’t. Four or even five times in a row. He has less control of his emotions and gets upset over little things.

In the last few days he was trying to cover all of that up. Less of that now. More of an uneasy acceptance. I don’t know how long this phase lasts. I wish I could tell him, but probably there’s no right answer for that anyway.

Thank you for all your kind thoughts, words, emails, and prayers. Y’all are so, so  lovely.


update

April 18th, 2011 at 3:37 pm » Comments (3)

he’s okay. really. thank you soooo much.  i knew this a couple of hours ago but haven’t been home for more than 5 minutes and so i couldn’t tell you, and i’ll tell you more later, but for now… thank you so much. i’m so relieved.


April 16th, 2011 at 5:48 pm » Comments (18)

i’m a bit upset. and not really wanting to talk about it much yet, but y’all pray. so of course i should.

i’ve written and hit ‘save draft’ a few times.  to explain. but then i didn’t really want to.

on thursday i made a red velvet birthday cake that is sitting in the kitchen, forgotten, uncut. no candles ever made it there. stale. my mom mentioned it earlier. otherwise i probably wouldn’t have remembered it at all.

ethan-11yr had an awful birthday, complete with a concussion and drama and awfulness of much magnitude. and, apparently, no cake.

he was playing capture the flag. he was taking it a bit too seriously. he had the flag. he couldn’t possibly allow Maddie to tag him. he fell. hit his head, hard, on something hard.

i don’t really think i did everything as well as i should have. more could have been done, sooner. if i’d just realized. but i didn’t.  i’m not sure why.

it wasn’t until he was strapped into the MRI thing today that i really fell apart. not good timing. but he was asleep, and the room was empty so i wasn’t bothering anyone. okay, maybe it was good timing.

he’s not thinking or speaking as clearly as normal. he gets words all mixed up, and he can’t do math. all of that makes him defensive and upset and he tries to cover it so people don’t notice.

he’s not himself.

i’m not myself.

i’m not thinking or speaking as clearly as normal. i get my words all mixed up, and i’ve never been able to do math anyway and when i get upset, i go where no one will see me so people don’t notice.

but if you would, i’d love any prayers you might have for ethan-11yr. thank you.

(and if you know scary things about head injuries, oh please don’t tell me. i know many of you are medical types, or have your own experiences that might scare me to pieces. but i can’t hear it yet. if you don’t mind too much.)