This morning at one-thirty, exactly thirteen years after my water broke forcing us into an ice storm and then me into an emergency C-section, Calvin had his umpteenth grand mal.

Incredibly, Calvin has made it to his thirteenth birthday. Unlike what most parents might think, the time has not flown by; caring for him has a way of slowing down the evolution of things. Moments are protracted. His development nears stasis. Our lives, in many ways, are inert. This time warp, though, is also a gift allowing me to practice mindfulness, to luxuriate in a square of warm sunlight, to contemplate the form of a shadow, to practice the Zen of chopping fruit, to study my boy and his every move, and to suspend myself in his embrace.

Today also marks six years and four months of writing this blog. Sixteen-hundred-and-twenty-two posts later I am a more fulfilled person and hopefully a better writer. In that span of time, Calvin has suffered a legion of seizures—possibly multiple thousands—ingested tens of thousands of pills, endured sleepless nights, bouts of misery, bruises and bloody noses and one broken foot. But for all his aches and pains my boy, it seems, is doing ever so slightly better with each passing day. I see it when he looks me straight in the eyes, when he makes new noises which give the impression he is trying to talk, when he accompanies me to a new store and doesn't grouse, when he pushes the grocery cart almost by himself.

This betterment I credit to our decision nearly three years ago to begin weaning Calvin off of his benzodiazepine, clobazam. He’ll be rid of it completely sometime late this year. He continues to improve as we inch toward his final dose as evidenced by his sound sleeping, improved balance and walking, his calmer behavior. I also credit the cannabis oils we’ve been giving to him since beginning the benzo wean. One is a THCA oil that I make myself with cannabis flower from Remedy dispensary, who I trust implicitly to supply healthy, safe, consistent herb for my son. The other is a CBD oil I get from the good folks at Haleigh’s Hope, who make an oil using a clean CO2 extraction method from a hybrid of high-cannabidiol strains known for their efficacy in treating stubborn seizures. My sense is that both of these oils have helped Calvin during his benzodiazepine wean by ameliorating his withdrawal side effects and/or keeping his seizures relatively stayed.

Calvin's milestones cause me to ponder my own stasis, and my itch to get back to a writing project I’ve neglected for too long. And so I’m tempted to hang up the blog for a spell so I can focus on completing the half-finished manuscript. It’s hard to give up the blog, though, even if only temporarily; It feeds my soul on so many levels, including the good mojo I get from beloved readers. So maybe instead of goodbye I should just say so long, and allow myself the freedom to check back in and post something periodically, or maybe I should change the format to be more like a photo Tweet. Who knows? In any case, I might not have the nerve to abandon it all together, so please check in, and when you do, I invite you to read older posts.

So, happy birthday my sweet boy Calvin, you who are my muse, my haunter of dreams, informer of my world. You inspire me in myriad ways. I'm so grateful to have spun around the sun next to one as pure as you.

Calvin's first day, Photo by Michael Kolster


  1. Happy birthday to Calvin and best wishes on your writing project, Christy!

  2. I can't even imagine what you and Michael have been through these past 13 years....but I'm glad you have shared it (and yes, your writing has certainly improved!!) because I have grown as I read it. All our best as you work on your next goal...

  3. Don't be gone long. Your readers need you!

  4. Happy Birthday Calvin! Thank you for writing this blog, Christy. I would love to read more from you.

  5. Happy birthday to beautiful Calvin and happy birthing day to you! I can't believe that he's thirteen! I have some advice for you with the blog, and it might be a little selfish. Use it as a sort of muscle that you exercise -- don't make every post a perfect essay or something "worked on," but continue to keep us informed! Don't go! I really believe blogging helps me with my writing offline rather than distracting from it. I hope you'll continue to grace us with posts!

    1. you are so sweet. i am already missing it. i think i need to take your advice. xoxoxo