Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Kinda blue

A dear friend asked me today how I'm doing...

Parenting has its share of tragedies, large and small. The crises of parenting, I have discovered, are seldom the ones I expected were lurking in my future.

Sure, there are the major medical traumas with big names ending in "oma" or carrying some distinguished doctor's last name. We all react to those by jumping off a cliff, landing on a tarp covered in hornets, then sinking into a pit of quicksand for the duration of the illness.

Aside from the big scary illnesses are the ones that abruptly end one journey -- usually well-planned, "normal life" -- and begin another journey through unmarked territory. It is this kind of journey of which my friend and I spoke.

I am on such a journey. Kuruna is my Sherpa.*

So how am I doing? I'm just fine. In fact, in spite of managing a complex schedule of doctor's visits, procedures, therapists and developmental exercises; in spite of occasional bouts of wondering if people think I am crazy because I've gone off on some protective Mother Bear rage about access to care for Kuruna; even though if I see another lab slip demanding blood from my baby I am going to crumple in a heap; and regardless of how many more days or years I have to wait to have a diagnosis... I'm ok. I'm actually having fun.

Fun...following Kuruna up the stairs helping him raise each leg to the next stair and hearing him giggle as he pulls himself up along the railing. Fun, watching him psyche himself up to step off a curb by himself....hearing him insist on holding the spoon, admonishing me to let "Self!" do it... watching how excited he gets putting on a shirt on his own. I especially find joy in listening to him croon "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Spirit of Life" or hearing him hum the saxophone part to "All Blues" from Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. How many people get to take their journey with a Sherpa who hums Coltrane? In his Sherpa kind of way, he keeps to himself. I don't know much about my guide, even though he's my son. But the lack of banter and relative silence invites me to inward exploration where, ironically, I find insights about the world around us.

I sometimes wake in the morning thinking that I'll discover I've been dreaming and that everything has been restored to "normal-and-as-planned." However, I'm rarely blue, hopping along on this jivey journey with my jazzy soy-milk-loving stair-climbing guy.

*(I must acknowledge here that I am not on this journey with Kuruna only, but also with Satya and my hubby and our extended families, too. I couldn't make this journey without their incredible support. But these are my Buddha lessons, right? And, though we may travel the same road, our feet trod on different soil.)

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