I wake at four o'clock to the sound of Calvin rustling in his bed. It has been eleven days since his last grand mal, a fairly long stint for him. He's been ramping up for the past few days. He spends our morning car ride grousing. Doesn't want to eat the cut-up pieces of cheese, fruit and meat which I hand back to him from the driver's seat. We've only been on the road for a short stretch when I turn around and head back home. I think maybe if I give him an extra Keppra it might take the edge off and keep him seizure free like it seemed to do in the gravity of the last new moon.
gravity: downward force. pull. heaviness. profundity. dreadfulness. solemnity. magnitude. weight (of a situation or mass.)
Upon arriving home, I catch my friend Collin dropping off another dozen pastel teal and tan eggs from her hens. Masked-up, we stand in the front yard visiting for a bit, something we've regrettably never done before. We talk about our same-aged kids, about school and/or lack thereof. I tell her that Calvin had just been going berserk, as if ramping up to a fit. As a professor of earth and oceanographic sciences, she wonders if he might be suffering the effects of the oncoming storm. I tell her I wonder the same thing, whether the barometric pressure squeezes the cerebral spinal fluid in his brain's enlarged ventricles like water in a balloon, like the full and new moon's gravity affects the tides, and seemingly seizures too.
pressure. tempests. gravity. seizures. inner and outer space (of a situation or brain.)
The other night, Michael and I watched the film, Gravity. I remember having seen it the first time in a theater where we watched it in 3D (could that have really been eight years ago?) It was thrilling and chilling and at times made me weep. Watching the trailer still makes the invisible hairs stand up on my forearms. I remember wondering why the film had so haunted me, until Michael pointed out the gravity of our own situation since Calvin's birth—being launched into the great unknown by a boy whose newborn face reminded me of the moon. I hear the protagonist's plea when spinning in a vortex—what do I do? what do I do? As the mother of a child like Calvin, I can deeply relate.
breathless. frightening. hopeless. helpless. anxious. tethered. untethered. stressful. isolated. free-falling. relentless.
I read somewhere that space has no temperature, and that in space bodies don't immediately explode or freeze. Somehow, knowing that feels comforting to me. Then I think about my son who is at once alien and familiar. Like in some episode of the Twilight Zone, he regularly sends me reeling. But he is also the one who grounds me with his otherworldly gravity. His hugs and smiles thrill me and sometimes make me weep. I'm hopelessly tethered to this earthly urchin who keeps me moored to a mundane landscape (of a situation or place.)