behind the lens

Six straight days of my child's seizures have allowed me special perspective on all things vexing, such as:

cold weather. the loss of my mother last autumn. dirty rugs. spilt milk. bombs exploding around the world. nights with little sleep and days without showers. the orange peroxide demagogue, his patent misogyny, hateful racism, childish goonery, incitement of violence, and fascist prattle. dead grass.
dividing walls. poopy diapers. burnt toast. robo calls. cryptic messagesbadgering, patronizing and vaguely threateningsent on the pretext of connecting. piles of laundry. childless mothers. wrinkles. mass shootings. stepping in dog shit. homeless migrants and other good folks. drool splattered floors. racists. thinning hair. starving children. puerile republican wars. plantar fasciitis. broken families. senate obstructionism. hangnails. leaves that plead to be raked. dust bunnies. cabin fever. my aching back.

A child’s chronic illness, in my son’s case refractory epilepsy, has a way of revealing the truth, which is that some of these worries don’t really matter; I can laugh them off as the farce they are. Others, even from behind the lens of epilepsy, I understand to be of greater consequence than my task at hand, than a boy who seizes and has survived. These realities deserve my compassion and concern, draw me out of my insignificant realm, beg me to use the voice I thankfully have discovered, and make me grateful for all that I have in this world.


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