So, two days ago the kid had a bronchospasm, an experience that I suspect he would neither recommend nor plan on repeating. Me, I'd just as soon not be a spectator for that again, neither - damned scary stuff. Can we all curl up in a ball and wait for the adrenaline to drop? Or did I say whoosh?
Yeah, might've done.
Last night, another tight chest, the kid pulling, shoving at the air. He didn't need Tuesday to leave him beautifully primed to panic, wanted to refuse to panic (I don't want to be afraid, he'd told me), and tried hard not to be. Muscle by muscle, relaxing when the inhaler worked. But he kept his arms spread that night, my son who likes to sleep curving, tucked into the nook of a body, a mass of pillows. Even while sleeping, something in him asked for that extra spread and arch of the chest, allowing a little extra air into squeezed bronchi.
It was quiet then in the house, with the kids' (congested) snores a low, gentle sound that wove itself into the quiet, comfortably co-existing. At odd moments, adrenaline would wash through me, and I'd force myself to walk slowly, like a relaxed, thoughtful person, rather than oh, me. Poke my head into the kids' room, lie down with the Eldest, feeling the rise and fall of his chest, the slack in his muscles - and relax myself.
Whoooosh, goes the air in his/my lungs, blowing the clouds of adrenaline away.
It's been an awful lot of medicine lately, between the peanut challenge, the asthma, yesterday's trip to the ER, and I don't have to tot up emotional accounts to know; fear, adrenaline, determination, grit, anxiety, trust, love, patience and adaptation all cost something.
It was a late night again last night. Took a while for me to burrow in to a timeless quiet moment, pause, and then haul myself out into the unchanged present. Downtime is a break, but not a transformative one. Can't fix, can go on, and can - no, will - indulge in the cook's version of buying some happy: today, the Eldest is food-challenging zucchini. More tension, more face-to-face with risk, more, more, more.
So I made dips. As if they'd cushion the food challenge, maybe by giving the kid choices, when he's hungry and ruled by protocol. Maybe by offering a grin when we open the box of dips, something extravagant that says love. And yes, admittedly, speaking to a moment when there is the energy/time/luxury to be able to make such extravagance - that wishfulness cost something, too. But possibly, possibly it was worthwhile.....
We settled in, eyeing the wee quarter of a slice. The kid was a touch skeptical, considering his empty belly and the portion. Dip? I suggested. He scoffed. Dip what? But we flipped open the box, admiring the guacamole, the basil-artichoke pesto, the ketchup and (tamari) soy sauce.
Yum, he told me, and chewed.
Behind him, a determined kiwi kicked a ball. Whooooooosh...
Please note: the kid had more success than the kiwis. While New Zealand bid a dignified farewell to the World Cup, to borrow a phrase, the kid kicked zucchini butt.