Saturday, May 19, 2012
Today we met Sam
The novelist who secretly resides in my brain , the one who turns even the most mundane daily tasks into intriguing scenes waiting for publication, was working full force today. He (I like to think my imaginary author would be a he... not sure why...) was holding a full fledged debate on the practicalities of this venture we were about to undertake, casting doubts about the amount of people in Target and Chick-fil-A, the looks we would no doubt get (both curious and empathetic), and even the unrealistic mean things strangers would say or think. He held articulate arguments of why it is just too much to get the wheelchair out, then back in, then back out, every time having to take it apart. It's just not worth it. Luckily, when someone tells me I can't do something, I get even more determined (thank you mystery author-man). If only you could read the on-going biography in my head... it sounds so much better in there, never quite translates onto paper as it should.
So, there we went, 4 kids, a vent, oxygen, and a nurse, out on a trip to Target. I could feel some looks from other shoppers, but not as many as expected. I didn't make eye contact, just felt a little weird I guess. Mr. uninvited author chimed in mockingly "wow, look at that lady with 4 kids, and all so young, doesn't she know where those things come from! Oh and look at that one, how sad." To which I secretly replied "shut up brain-author man." He was making things out to be much bigger than they were.
After our expedition around the store to gather a few necessities, we loaded back up in the car again and I sat in the front seat, already tired, a bit defeated. It was 1 o'clock and the kids hadn't eaten lunch so I was going to drive through to get them some grub. While in the drive through lane Jake said "but Mom, aren't we going in?" (dang that playground in there!) in his best pathetic voice. Alright, he got me. So, piled back out and in to the restaurant we went. I felt some looks, but thankfully my sister was there with her kids! I went to a table and parked our brood when the man sitting next to me looked over and said "my son had a trach, he just got it out last month." Wow.
Up walks Sam. Sweet, sweet Sam. We introduced Sam, who is 3 years old and smart as a whip, to Dominic. He stood and looked at Dominic curious, wanting to get ever closer. We let him get in right next To Dominic. He, whom himself has some physical abnormalities and other problems, innocently asked "what happened to him?" That's why I love kids, they'll say what adults want to say, but won't due to unsaid societal rules. So, I explained all about Dominic, how he can't breathe well so he has the trach (just like Sam used to), showed him the vent, which he thought was super cool, showed him our emergency ambu bag that he squeezed and squeeled "I've got one of those!" I told him he was just like Dominic with his glasses and showed him the hearing aides. Explained what the wheelchair was and what it was for. My sister was trying not to cry, so was I. I did a better job than her. For about 10 minutes, Sweet Sam just looked at Dominic, who for the first time since we left the house rewarded him with a big grin... almost as if he were saying "hey, you're in my club!" Like he knew someone just like himself was standing there.
After Sam left, my sister, a softie at heart, had to leave because she was crying. We both saw the future for sweet Sam, one of the small ones of God. I saw how he would overcome many hardships to become something great, someone who would do good in this world. It would be through his many trials in life, with shunning from society for his deformities, that he would grow strong and courageous, determined to make a difference. I saw his Dad, who like me, felt alone but thankful. A quick chat amongst us revealed a certain knowing that only us parents with these special kids can recognize, or ever possibly understand. A certain undercurrent of pain mingled with hope, uncertain-ness, joy, and worry that is ingrained in all parents at the moment a little life enters into it's mothers womb.
I gave him my number, maybe one day Sam can come play, can play with my big boys and be close to a kid just like himself. I would say this outing was a success. Thanks Sam.