The wonder of this little body, that ten years ago came slithering out of mine into the world, and that ten years later I can still gather into my arms.
The madness of this perfect little form that I can still carry with the ease of any preschooler’s mother.
Those quirky little hands that speak volumes more even than the chatterbox who animates them.
Those big blue eyes over a tiny little chin, eyebrows almost constantly surprised, ears elfin adding to that face.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday pass and all those little things just fade into the background.
Thursday, Friday, and his annoyance at not reaching up to that cupboard door disappear as he finds the use of a stool.
Saturday, and the medical appointments, the special school, the wheelchair and the tube are just part of normal, everyday life.
Sunday, or Tuesday, or Thursday…
One day, all that normality vanishes, all the background noise comes into the sharp focus of a melody too strident to be ignored, a song too painful to sing, too loud not to hear.
A little piece of plastic breaks, a part of a wonderful, life giving “button” that allows this little boy to live life largely unhindered by things medical.
That little fault means the button must be replaced.
The horror of that little face filled with terror.
The beauty of that little face filled with courage, determination and resignation.
The sheer helplessness at seeing his struggle with his fear… “I want to do it Mummy, please don’t touch”
“I don’t want to Mummy, it hurts too much”
The pain is far more feared than experienced, but that fear comes from experience… funny thing our brain, our memories, the sum of our past, our present, our future…
In that moment fear reigns.
He is ten years old, this little boy, and must decide whether to inflict this pain upon himself, or allow Mummy, me, to do the hurting.
And I am ten years old with him, ten years old of Mothering a little boy through various types of suffering.
Finally, two long hours later, he loses his battle.
Or he wins.
He cannot, but he can. He can let me do the deed.
That little expressive hand, pressing so hard down on mine, to try so desperately to stop the inevitable hurt. The other hand clutching my other hand. Tears streaming down his face.
And the sheer horror of excruciating pain as that blessed little button comes out. How sharp, spiky, hard must it feel when all the muscles are so tight, all the nerves so expectant of pain.
That little body I can hold so easily arches back, and a blood curdling scream breaks out.
It’s all I can do to keep one hand calm upon him, try and hush him, calm him as much as possible.
That hated button stuck – will it come out, is there some hitherto inexperienced problem?
For a moment, the thought comes “must we go to hospital?”
But at hospital, the local one, there is no-one who knows more about this than Mummy… it’s only a week later that I think we could have gone there to use some entinox to calm him, relax and ease the pain.
One last, brief yet endless pull and the button’s out.
How fast did I gather him up to me?
Faster than you can breathe, faster than you can think, faster than you can hope.
I’m shaking, tears held back until he is back asleep, his sister calmed (for screams had woken her, straight into the panic so familiar to a Sibling).
Daddy’s there too, holding and soothing. Checking on one and then the other.
The next morning all is back to Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
That little boy just moves on… it was all rather unpleasant but it’s over and part of the norm.
A week later and the music will be in the background once again.
Because in truth, we live a life far more normal than some might think. All that “special” and “different” lives outside somewhere.
Until the next “Sunday”.
Or Monday, or Wednesday.
And Anyday could be today, tonight, tomorrow.
And Anyday reminds us of the wonder of those differences, the marvel that is our little boy, our doctors and scientists, those unknown people who make such miracles as “buttons” and tubes.
For now, I’m back to Monday. I’m loving that despite being ten years old, his little body still fits snugly into mine, that his cuddles are soft as a cloud and those magical mysterious hands come to move my hair away from my face to allow a kiss in the morning.