Day 312

Today the pendulum swung back in the direction of “normal.” We woke up, kissed daddy goodbye as he started his work week, and got ready for school. Banyan had school basketball tryouts today and packed for a long day away from home. Benjamin had a tender tummy and didn’t want breakfast right away. I packed some extra snacks in his backpack. He felt better by the time we got to his classroom, just in time for the birthday donuts that one of his classmates brought in.

While the boys were away, I worked, practiced yoga, cleaned, folded laundry, shopped for groceries, had lunch with a friend. Just before I went to pick up Benjamin, I thought about how quickly his spiciness has crossed the line into rudeness lately. Michael and I understand his need for control. We want to encourage it in healthy ways, but we are determined to curb the unhealthy ones. I meditated on kindness for a few minutes, both mine and his. I decided to enter the afternoon with conscious awareness.

Benji and I played lacrosse for a little while before starting homework. Once we sat down together to tackle second grade math, his tone started veering into disrespectful territory. I was swift with both love and consequences. He was sent to his room several times, some for infractions I would have let slide in a second before. This dance went on for a little while, but soon, he finished his homework and asked to help me with dinner rather than play. We made a salad bar together and had everything ready for Michael and Banyan when they came home. Benji was kind, funny, helpful and considerate. Yes, normal is creeping in again.

Tomorrow, Benji will start the day with his friends at school, then I’ll pick him up to take him over the Skyway for his “Day 15” clinic appointment. He’ll have a finger poke and a complete blood count so we can see how his oral chemotherapy is affecting his numbers. I’ll discuss the Pentamidine with the oncologist, and we’ll be on our way back home. Benji will take his second round of oral methotrexate tomorrow night.

Benji asked today what would be happening in the clinic tomorrow, and when I told him, he smiled. “Oh! Those are my favorite kinds of appointments. Just a finger prick!” I communicated today with a mother whose son is in a state of terror each time he gets a finger poke or a port access. I have seen the place where that fear lives. I am selfishly thankful that’s not where we are right now. I feel so much compassion for her boy, and so much gratitude for mine.

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