pent up, awaiting escape

In so many ways Maine was not made for someone like me, for a fair-weather chick with a disabled, chronically-ill teenager who can't manage to walk all by himself, let alone in snow or on frozen tundra. And so every long, Maine winter we stay pent up at home when outside it's five or twelve or twenty or thirty-eight degrees. Frozen seas form in the wake of torrential sleet and rain, sheathing the earth in ice and crusting up pathways. Time outside is impossible for my child in conditions like these.

Yesterday, I wept in Michael's arms, lamenting this feeling of imprisonment, stuck in this place with a kid like Calvin who too often has seizures. I wished I were in California. If we lived in San Francisco—home for Michael and me in our late twenties and thirties—we could take Calvin anywhere quite easily on streetcars, on Muni trains, on buses, on the subway. In minutes we could be padding in the sand aside the Pacific, eating pizza in North Beach cafes, searching storefronts for the best dim sum in Chinatown. Year round there, days are mild and glorious. Parks, cafes and museums are numerous and bustling. Art is everywhere. Vistas abound, begging possibilities.

Here in Maine, January began well; Calvin had only two grand mal seizures by the sixteenth. However, the past two weeks have not been so good. Calvin has had at least five days with seizures in that span. He has stayed at home from school too often. His nurse called in sick. Monotony and melancholy set in. Worry knit its way into my brow. Sleep escaped me, though not from insomnia.

Understanding my despair, Michael came to the rescue as if for a wake, bearing extra attention, tenderness and understanding, and by delivering from "his" kitchen, multiple delicious dinners.

Today, as I look out over the back yard I see a veritable glacier in sun and shade. The rhododendrons have curled up, some tight as toothpicks, amid the frigid temps. All I can think about is spring and making escapes. Maybe I'll take a train south to see my sister. Hopefully I can get back to New York in May. In fall, I hope to make another a trip to San Francisco; too many things I missed while there last spring. All these journey's I'll do solo while Michael stays home taking care of Calvin. We can't easily travel as a family and still manage to enjoy ourselves, the places, our friends and each other, restricted as we are by our difficult boy and his needs.

On the phone yesterday with my dear friend Heather from California, she reminded me that every single day I take care of a sick child. Although I know this to be true, sometimes I forget, probably because Calvin has become my new normal. And though I love him to pieces, he's in great part why I often feel lost, stuck, hopeless.

Despite the fact it's windy and twenty-three degrees outside, I sit here on our green couch soaking up sun rays while trying to remember we're headed toward spring. Maybe it will arrive early. Perhaps we won't get much more snow. Hopefully, with more CBD oil, Calvin's seizures will continue slowly trending further downward. Perhaps I'll get more sleep.

And maybe, just maybe, come spring I'll escape.

Photo by Michael Kolster

No comments:

Post a Comment