As I was preparing for bed last night, I pulled up my email, and saw that Benjamin’s sweet teacher had given me a heads up about some impulsive behavior in class yesterday. Nothing malicious or mean, just impulsive; he interrupted a lot, loudly, and with what sounded like a bit of hysteria. Steroids. This morning, I spoke to Mrs. Smith about it. I told her how we’ve been observing that the days following a steroid pulse seem to be more intense than the days on the medicine. I was not at all excusing his behavior, just sharing our observation so she can be prepared as well. I pulled him aside this morning and told him to check in with his body today. When he felt a loud impulse in his body wanting to come out, take a deep breath. Have control in your body. You can do this. I did not correlate his behavior with the steroids verbally, to him. I don’t want to create a self-fulfilling prophecy here. I just know that he is stronger than these medicines. I have seen it. And I needed to remind him.
Before running the morning errands after drop-off, I re-entered the world of my online moms’ group. It was comforting. I asked the moms whose kids are at the end of their treatment whether they feel the behavioral effects of the steroids have been cumulative. Everyone said no, which was a huge relief. The consensus was that some months they cause minimal damage, and others are brutal. This is what we’ve observed here as well. So we keep on truckin’.
I brought Benjamin lunch today at school, and Mrs. Smith said he’s been behaving beautifully so far. Today was also the last day to request gifted screening. Upon her suggestion, I went ahead and filled out the paperwork. It can’t hurt. Benjamin and I sat outside on a gorgeous day and shared a picnic. Halfway through his lunch period, his classmates walked past us; Mrs. Smith had allowed them to eat lunch in the classroom. He looked at me longingly. Go. “Are you sure?” he asked. “You came here to have lunch and talk with me.” I told him that if he must know, I came here for that moment of pure joy that I get when I see him walk around the corner. I already got that. Go. As I watched him rejoin his friends, I got a second rush of joy. The fact that he is sitting in a classroom just like every other child in this school, perfectly healthy and strong, with friends who make him happy and a teacher who understands him…well it’s just so beautiful I can hardly contain myself. I’m grateful to be feeling this way today.
Before picking up the boys from school, I made a special trip to my favorite yarn shop. When we found out that Dr. Oshrine and his wife are expecting twin girls, I knew I wanted to make them something special. This calls for something more than your big box craft store yarn. I bought the most gorgeous hand dyed worsted I’ve ever bought. It looks like a sunset. I can’t wait to get started.
For the second night in a row, Michael and I left our boys in the capable hands of our sweet neighbor, friend, and now, babysitter. We had tickets to go see one of our favorite musicians, John Prine, back in October. We had to give them up because we were in the middle of Benjamin’s hospital admission for Methotrexate toxicity. For Christmas, I bought Michael tickets to see him again.
It was an absolutely magical night, with some of the sweetest live music I’ve ever heard. We are on our way home now feeling amazed, inspired, and deeply grateful.