Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sun King

It's January. It's so January it's almost February. So far this year has gone off okay, save for the fungus growth on my hand and Mindy's and my bout with food poisoning/flu. I have turned 31. I find it to be a sexy number. Everything about it feels more solid than 30. Thirty is so round and loopy. Sure, it looks nice, but I nearly slipped off. Thirty-one, though, I feel safe just to the left of the one, hidden in the overhang of the three. I could fit there and not feel so exposed. It would give me time to gain back the strength I lost clinging to last year.

It's almost February. And February means it's almost March. I don't care if there is an Alaskan load of snow on the ground; the sun has changed, the earth is moving. We're all careening into spring.

Mindy claims that a few weeks ago she had a whiff of something which reminded her of spring. Something smelt earthy. Her heart stopped and she broke into tears. You see, last spring was no good. No good at all.

But I'm ready for this one. Our little man's speech pathologist has told us she expects him to be done with the tube feeding in four months. In four months, he'll also be done with the helmet. In less than four months, RSV season will be over and he'll be free from the shackles of home, from the death threats of every stranger's hand, of every doorknob and pen.

I plan to accept the smells and sights of spring. As I plant my garden I will make myself remember that last year at the same time I was wondering if I would get to be a parent for more than a few weeks. You see, I planted tomatoes, all the dirt and compost on my fingers, and I wondered if those plants would live longer than Cyrus. I also gave meaning to every one and in my head it went for every one I plant, Cyrus lives. Cyrus lives.

A lot of our friends had babies around the same time Cyrus was born. Facebook is filled with updates of sitting up, rolling over, standing, crawling... all the stuff that babies do. Cyrus cannot do those things. He does like to stand, but you have to put him there. He can almost sit up without falling, but he can't sit himself up. He's never even acted like he wants to roll over. His days are filled with exercises: a big ball, a green foam thing he sits in, we have to spin him in circles so many times a day, he practices sitting on his knees. We do a lot.

There are pictures of babies with food smeared on their faces. Cyrus gets to eat with his mouth once a day, and if he takes two teaspoons, we rejoice. I feel like crying every time he swallows the tiniest amount. I can't believe babies eat with their mouths. I can't believe my son.

He has a lot of appointments with 10 different doctors, but those have become fewer. We've even weened him off of one seizure medication.

I am ready for spring. I'm ready to let the snow saturate the ground, to revive the smell of the soil. I'll drive around town with the windows down, but I'll do it before it's really warm enough. I'll listen to the music that has been put away for a year. I promise to let myself feel all of the things that last year I tried to drink away.

And when the flowers start blooming, and the birds come back, and the snakes start poking their heads up in our yard, I will take my son out into a bright world for the first time and we will enjoy the little things as if we've never seen them before. As if we'd never seen the sun.