It wasn’t until I picked him up from school Tuesday afternoon did I realize that it was his last day of school until January. As he walked across the street with his buddy, I heard his friend said, “Well, see you next year, I guess.” And then it hit me that, yes, it was his last day of school. Intellectually I’ve known it was coming, but I hadn’t anticipated the realness of it all. I spun around to see if anyone else had noticed the moment, felt time slow down. No one had. It was just in my head. I told him he didn’t need to do his homework. For that, he was grateful. There should be some perks.
What followed Wednesday was 10 hours of poking and prodding for his pre-op appointment. It was strange to be walking the hospital corridors and having lunch in the cafeteria just like normal. It was anything but normal. Casually giving six vials of blood, casually peeing in a cup, casually having your heart examined in a darkened room for 90 minutes, casually capturing the rhythm of your heart on a computer with the help of 16 wires glued to your body. All so that the very next day, you get to arrive to the hospital at 6:15 am and willingly hand yourself over to a talented group of doctors who will change the course of your life—hopefully for the better.
After all of that, we hosted dinner for 10 in our backyard followed by key lime pie—R’s favorite. Then it was bedtime. There were tears and vomit, nerves from the day finally catching him and taking over. He was most upset that his favorite blanket was not available to comfort him through the night. Fortunately his three siblings were wrapped in their sleeping bags in his room to keep him company.
And then last night at 11:45 pm, I woke R for a private picnic. After midnight he could not eat or drink anything, so we took advantage of the last minutes of the night to squeeze in some calories. We’ve had middle of the night picnics before each of his procedures and it’s quite sweet to share a few moments when the world is quiet and asleep. Hopefully both of us were able to fall back to sleep afterward.