friday faves - the calvin quotient

Every so often I hear parents talk about how time flies and how quickly their little ones are growing up. My husband and I, on the other hand, continue to experience what I like to call the Calvin Quotient, which can be described, in a way, as an expansion of time.

Since just before Calvin’s birth we have been bombarded by an array of challenges dealing with his health, the medical establishment and simply learning to cope with the loss, grief, stress and complication that accompany having a child with disabilities, with epilepsy. Our lives quickly became jam-packed with appointments to see dozens of specialists for Calvin’s various health and developmental concerns. This frequent and regular exposure to unknown territory—both emotional and physical—and characterized as much by our fatigue as by our bloated calendar, felt as if we were experiencing in one year what another might experience in the course of several years or perhaps even over a lifetime.

Coupled with this intense, insane pace and its steep learning curve, and contributing to the Calvin Quotient, is the nature of Calvin’s development itself, which has always been painfully and utterly protracted. New skills have taken Calvin weeks, months, often years to develop, and at times have been all together lost due to seizures and drug side effects. One could say that Calvin is eight going on one or two.

So, while perhaps time flies when you’re having fun, and contrary to what one might think having read what I've just written, I have found great reward in Calvin’s quotient. That is not to say that I don’t wish every day that things were different. Of course I, like any parent would, wish that Calvin was healthy and better able to explore a child’s world of possibilities. But he is not, and because he is not I have learned a great deal, about things I'd never have imagined, in very little time. I have felt depth of emotion I'd never felt before. I can sometimes revel in spending hours upon hours watching him, touching him, listening to him (as long as he is not shrieking) and all the time in awe of him. We while away the hours in each others presence—in each others arms. No, our boy Calvin is definitely not growing up too fast.

Please share.
Give to cure epilepsy: http://www.calvinscure.com

Originally published 11.18.10.


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I am so blessed by your posts, and I will pass them on Kathy K

  2. thank you so much kathy. if you want you can "friend" me on facebook and share it there too.

  3. It’s interesting that you bring up how slowly time can go because for me, time has gone so quickly recently. I can’t believe it’s already exam week! But, when I think about the extending of time I think about seizures. My seizures are only 20-30 seconds, but somehow, I feel that I am spinning eternally in the scariest moments. It is like the gak stuff you make repeatedly in kindergarten and first grade. It rippled through my little fingers quickly until I made it dense enough in my hands. Then it stuck and I just wanted to wash it off. But seizures don’t wash off easily.

  4. julianna, you need comment only once. it takes me a while to moderate them. thanks for sharing your interesting insights! christy