Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just a walk in the park

It didn't feel like denial, I tell the husband. It felt like acceptance.

We are at a park, watching the kids run around. This morning, we got up, went to church. I went in to Morning Blessings, "a quiet, reflective time for community and contemplation."

Turns out, I can handle anything but community and contemplation. The spider was caught in her own trap. Tears, tears, tears.

Oh bother.

The Husband was hugged by several other men, men who don't normally hug him. A bit weird. We had to explain to others. We tried to reassure some.

"I don't want to go to RE," said The Boy. "I don't want to talk about it." The Princess just wanted to stay by me.

So we left, early. "I know where to go," I told The Husband. There was a little park that I had driven by, before. We stopped there and the kids ran, climbed, swings, monkey bars. We sat and watched them.

"It wasn't denial," says The Husband. He says this is just how it's going to be. We'll feel fine, then we won't. Then we'll feel fine again.


"We found a nature trail! Can we all walk it?"

Sure. We set off. "Maybe it's the trail to Narnia!" The Boy and the Princess run ahead. Bo Peep slips her hand in mine. "Think we'll find tigers on the trail?" I joke. "No," she says somberly. "Bears."

Bears are her fear. When she has bad dreams, bears are almost always to blame. She woke up one time and fussed, "Oh! Those bears just won't leave me alone!"

I can't relate. I love bears. Pooh Bear and teddy bears and Little Bear and even the Three Bears. Mine is snakes.

The Boy informs her that the chances are greater that she'll be struck by lightning, stung by a bee and in a car accident all on the same day, than be attacked by a bear when you didn't do anything wrong.

I look around for LW. She is safe, up on her daddy's shoulders. We enter the trail.

Lizards, butterflies, dragon flies. "I don't think we should go there," says Bo Peep.

It's okay. I've been here before.

We find a hidden bench. It's nice. We turn around. "Watch out for that branch," I call to The Husband. It's right at the height of LW. "I saw it," he says.

We walk back, let them play some more. It's good. It's a beautiful day, just slightly cool, blue skies. If she goes on chemo, we won't be able to do this for a while. LW goes streaking by me, headed for the swings at the far end of the park. Fearless. I start to follow her, but her big brother has spotted her and is running after her. He lifts her into the swing and gives a push.

The Husband and I figure out lunch and head for the store, for home. Tomorrow is our appointment. I have some doodle-dolls that I had put back to donate to the clinic. I thought they'd be good for cancer kids, because you can draw on them. Incisions, port, whatever.

Tomorrow, I'll present one to LW. We'll take it with us, and I'll ask her surgeon to draw on it what is going to be done, so maybe she can understand.

It's okay. I've been here before.


Philocrites said...

LE, there's so much grace in the way you write about your experiences. As a parent-to-be, I think often and with no small amount of trepidation about the highs and the lows you've written about -- and about the courage and love you embody and about the emotional honesty you've shared with us -- and I take heart from it. Thank you for bringing us along.

Jess said...

I lit a candle for your family this morning, and will be thinking about you tomorrow. Best wishes and *hugs*.

ogre said...

Real bravery doesn't consist of courage without recognition of risk. It consists of recognizing the risks... and going on anyway with what ought to be, as best one can.

The frustration and terror of being a parent faced with a threat to one's child that one can't... really... do anything about other than grit one's teeth, cross one's fingers and plow on is one I know. Not as well as you do, by now. But I know it.

I bow to the bravery of Lizard Eater and Little Warrior.

And I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, too.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for reminding us how precious and at risk life is at every moment.