Lucas Beckett went in for his MRI today, and Abigail shat herself. Of all mornings, of course she’d pick today, the only day we need to be up super early and be out the door on time to get LB to the hospital. Abigail rips off her diaper, and I find her in her crib, sitting cross-legged, weaving her poop between her fingers as if she were playing a civilized game of Cats & Cradles. No! So I yanked her out and plunked her in a cold bath, making her clean up. The true highlight was having to scrape under her fingernails with the tip of a barrette. It’s all I could find, and we were already running late.
Phil and I tag-teamed Abigail’s lunch last night (we really do work well, our best, really, under times of severe stress*), but there was breakfast to consider. Abigail kept asking for breakfast, but Lucas couldn’t eat or drink anything, not even water, before his "procedure," so we decided that I’d drop Phil and Lucas off at the hospital while I took Little Miss to school.
I reach the school to realize she still hasn’t had breakfast, and we’re a half-hour early, before the doors are even open. We swing by a new donut shop around the corner. Abigail presses both hands on the glass, her eyes as big as cups, inspecting the donut world spread out before her. "I want my bagel with sprinkles, Mama." I point to the chocolate dipped donuts with rainbow sprinkles.
"She’d like this one please."
"And one for Lucas, too, Mama."
"’Cause he’s at hospital with doctor for baby boo boo in his head, right?"
"Yes, poop girl."
As I rushed back to the hospital I checked my phone, looking for a text indicating a room number. Nothing. I called Phil. No answer. I park. I speed-demon walk across the lot. Then I’m suddenly standing beside a round information desk, asking a security guard where my son might be. I zoom down the steps to surgery. Then I pull it together. Phil still hasn’t sent me a room number, hasn’t called or emailed to update me on where they are, and I’m trying to seem like a normal person, saying please, excuse me, thank you–wanting so much to scream WHERE IS MY SON?
Yes, we’re here for diagnostic reasons, this time. But being here is more familiar than it should be; it’s like I never left. I remember, in remarkable detail, the phone conversations I’ve had in this surgery waiting room, waiting for news, frantic. And that was all before Lucas could even speak. But now it’s harder; I love him more. I never believed in more when it came to love, but now I get it. I love him more because I know him more. I know his favorite animal, his favorite sleep position, and the curve of his chin when he smiles at his sister. And it breaks my heart… the thought of a dark mask with tubing over his face, putting him under.
I wanted to be there though, to hold his hand, but I couldn’t find Phil, and it made me want to sink my teeth into his flesh. WTF?! Each room to which the staff directed me was empty. A nurse finally told me, "Dad’s on his way out to the waiting room now. Your son is already in the procedure."
I sat in the waiting room, all tight and neat. A pin of a person. I hear Phil’s voice, "Hey." I can’t talk. I’m in this frenzied angry place, and I know it’s not his fault, but I want to blame someone because I’m scared.
"Why didn’t you answer, or text, or email. Anything?"
"My stomach was killing me," he whispers.
And then I broke down and cried, big fat tears and an ugly cry face, like full-on Claire Danes cry.
I’m not alone in this, but I feel it buried so deep inside that it’s hard to imagine I could be sharing it with anyone. I needed a moment.
Then I saw a Thomas the Train balloon bounce by, and I was ready to shop, to buy the whole world for our sweet Kind Sir. Results are hopefully in tomorrow.