Slowly, the onion layers of change are peeling away and revealing new, inner, shiny parts of themselves to me. Some of our friends came to visit tonight. I suspected Christian was tired and wanted him to go to bed. Dereck took our friends down the hall to a conference room to chat, and I couldn't bring myself to leave Christian alone in his hospital bed in the dark. I sat with him until his breathing fell into a steady rhythm, but even just going down the hall felt far away.
Chris has been sitting in my arms on the bed while we watch movies, and it moves me that I still have the power to make it all better. Even if that isn't really true, he still believes it.
He did admit one fear to me tonight though: He is reluctant to leave the hospital. (First he asked me what the word reluctant meant. Then he used it.) At the hospital, he feels safe: They are on top of his insulin, his meals, his blood sugar checks. I've given him one shot of insulin and checked his blood sugar one time, and helped him pick out meals that other people prepare and bring him. I can't seem very capable of handling this right now, even though I have raised him to this age.
I reassured him that he will be safe at home. It's my job to keep him safe. And I also realized that I won't feel comfortable letting Sam babysit his brothers at night for a very long time. I don't know when I'll feel comfortable with that. Nor do I feel comfortable hiring a sitter. This is my responsibility. I didn't really think about that until I was leaving the room tonight to go down the hall.
I haven't really attended karaoke regularly for months now. I don't know why-- fatigue, depression, just feeling more like staying at home where I can smoke in the studio [we can't smoke in our bars anymore, and going outside is, well, cold mostly lately] and watch House any time I want to.
Now, I won't go because I can't leave Christian. What if something happened? We won't even test his blood sugar until 3 a.m. And we will only do that for a couple of weeks. When will we be able to let that go?
It's an incredibly powerful protective instinct, this mothering. Do you know that I secretly think that I love my children more than any other mother on earth loves her children? And when other people talk about loving their children, my inner self shakes her head sadly and thinks, "Oh, you don't even know about loving your children. I have the market cornered on that."
But it's also true that my children haven't needed me constantly in the ways they did when they were younger. They have grown very independent. We are all still very, very close (I cannot blog about the personal conversations I have had this year with Christian, but trust me: We're close). Now, suddenly, I am in charge of making every meal again instead of trusting him to make a sandwich. He needs me again. He really, really needs me.
Even though this SUCKS and I wish so much for him that I could take this away, I can't also help but feel flattered to be so needed again. And I also secretly hope that the structure this will give to our lives will help lift me out of my stupor of fatigue and depression. This sharpens things and gives me an intense focus. When I go to the doctor on Friday, I am going to tell him either to test me for every single thing that could make me so tired, or I will find a doctor who will. I can't afford this bullshit any longer. My son needs me.