Though a foot of snow still covered the ground, it was mild when I put Calvin on the bus yesterday morning and, being the vernal equinox, I hoped I'd soon see early signs of spring. I alerted the driver and the aide that Calvin was a little “off,” likely because he’d had two brief partial seizures on Sunday requiring some extra meds. He’d been restless Sunday night, then woke early, trembling and humming repetitively. While I made his school lunch he spun in his jumper, snapping his fingers wildly and covering his ears at times as if to block a phantom noise.
After school when the bus dropped him off, his aide mentioned how well he had walked and what a good afternoon he’d had. Hearing that raised my suspicion, knowing that unusually good walking is often a harbinger of seizures to come. Once inside the house, I noted other omens: a persistent and severe rash on his buttocks, mottled legs, restlessness, foamy drool, warm hands and red ears. However, he was relatively quiet and, considering it was only day five since his last grand mal, I figured he might be out of the woods.
Around six, Lauren stopped by with homemade lasagna for dinner. Just as I was putting Calvin to bed, Maura popped in impromptu on her way home to join us for a drink. The tulips she had brought me last week were in full splendor. Though he was slightly restless again, Calvin drifted off to sleep just after seven. My soul sisters and I gathered in the kitchen and talked about the Trump administration's unconscionable ties to Russia. We expressed our disdain for republican swamp monsters who aim to tear apart our beloved institutions, sacred freedoms and protections. We lamented our weariness of the poser in chief, regretting that Hillary isn’t seated in the Oval Office surrounded by experienced people, making fair policies to protect all Americans, especially marginalized ones, and partnering with important world allies like Angela Merkel. We thought about our daughters and our friends' daughters and pined for female leadership in this lamentably patriarchal world. We toasted to the coming of spring.
As we sipped our drinks, Maura noticed a picture postcard propped on the windowsill featuring Lindsey, a sweet, bespeckled little girl with a loose thick braid, a girl not too dissimilar from Calvin. Next to the card sits the packet of dry peas sent by her mother, as in past years, in honor of her daughter's birthday. I noticed that the card and seeds had arrived on the first day of spring and what would have been Lindsey's ninth birthday had she not died in her sleep a fortnight ago. I promised myself to plant the peas in a pot at the base of the bird feeder once warmer weather comes.
At ten last night, Michael not yet home, Calvin suffered the looming grand mal. After giving him a tiny squirt of THC rescue tincture, and in its wake an extra dose of THCA oil, I wrapped him in my arms and could hear his heart beating through my pillow. I thought of sweet Lindsey who I had cradled in my lap a time or two, grieved for her loving mother and my dear friend, her uncle, and held them in my own heart for a spell. Calvin slept soundly enough for me to think he was out of the woods. Nevertheless, at four o’clock he had a second grand mal, so I had to use the rectal Valium I loathe to give, or risk him having more.
March, long notorious for bringing ear infections, viruses and extra seizures, came in like a lion; Calvin has already surpassed, by one, his monthly average of four grand mals. Today is grey. The snow is slowly melting. The crocuses are no doubt eager to push their way through the earth into the outside world. In a month or two Lindsey's pea shoots will wind their way, like her curly hair, up a makeshift trellis. There will be birds to feed, lawn to be mowed and flowers to be cut and brought indoors.