I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me
I’m more than a bird…I’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me
What is it about small children and holidays that brings out the worst in their parents? Well, not really the worst, but something. Something that compels a parent to go overboard with costumes, presents, extravagant parties for a child who, really, doesn’t yet understand the significance of the day or event? Who not only doesn’t understand, but cannot yet even participate in the manner his parent hopes for?
I find myself wondering whether I am trying to recapture some lost moments of my youth. Or perhaps to re-create the moments as I would have liked them to be? Surely my son doesn’t yet understand what birthdays and Christmas and Halloween are all about. Yet with the approach of each one I am filled with deep longing for him to leap into the fray with the same enthusiasm I have.
I am reminded lately of how not-normal our family is as we have logged a few hundred miles on the car this week racing from doctor to doctor and to the hospital on Sunday. Of the hours of sleep we have lost in the middle of the night with our son who cannot tell us what is wrong, where it hurts or what he needs. Of the frequent need for blood tests, x-rays, numerous daily medications, and other medical interventions. Our child who cannot tell us what he needs on a daily basis. This is our “normal” now.
Most days I accept this new paradigm with grace and humor. Then there are the days, like today, when I struggle to find the grace and strength. Yet, given a choice, I wouldn’t trade our life. Because it is not normal to celebrate each moment of triumph which passes for ordinary in other families. The growth and changes normal families don’t notice until they have become second nature. Things they take for granted, we recognize as herculean tasks accomplished with great effort. Nothing ordinary about them.
So, while we won’t be dragging our little caped wonder from house to house tonight because of the mystery ailment* which has put him out of commission, we will be enjoying the treat of being Nik’s parents and all that encompasses.
Whatever kryptonite the world wants to throw our way, we’ve got a super little man to help us through.
*Good news from yesterday’s chest x-rays — it’s not pneumonia! Whew! Dodged that bullet!