My brain is on fire. The holidays have officially passed, the decorations have been put away and, ironically, my heart is racing more at the excitement of the coming days than for any recent holiday memory. (And believe me, we've had some pretty damn good times over the past few weeks.) Tomorrow and Tuesday are all that stand between us and Virginia and our appointment with destiny ... er, Dr. Brad ... and I now find myself fighting with my mind, begging it to focus on even the simplest task.
The day is close. Close enough to pack today and not be thought a jackass. Close enough to work into casual conversation (Oh, I'd LOVE to but I'm afraid I'll be in Charlottesville for a few days while Ethan undergoes surgery. What? Oh, no, nothing serious. He'll only be able to HEAR NORMALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE!) Close enough to monopolize my every waking minute. Close.
I confess I haven't been able to get too excited about the holidays for a lot of years. Some of that is probably due to me steeling myself in order to make the days pass more bearably. I mean, when you're anxious all the time, time is not your friend. It passes way too leisurely, almost audibly taunting you with its nya-nya nya-nya nyaaaa nyaaaaaaaa and daring you to kiss its slow-moving ass. So I've been intentionally taking the time to drink in the week and a half I've been home with the kids: Trips to the aquarium, train rides, museums, indoor playgrounds ... . And then there were the holidays themselves. So much life packed into such a short time. And through these days I've often caught myself just staring at them, not wanting a minute to pass where I wasn't sensing them in some way. Trying to catch them in the act of growing before my very eyes.
It's been such a treat, too. Our ordinary routine gives us about 2 hours per evening to do homework, cook and eat dinner, take showers and do our reading. That's pretty god damned pathetic, I think. And I'll be sadder than I'll know how to handle when we're forced to reinsert ourselves into that rut, eventually saved, albeit temporarily, by summer's easier pace.
During one of the jam-packed days of adventure that have been our last week and a half, we decided to add to Ethan's already considerable Christmas take. But this purchase wasn't purely pleasure and/or appeasement. Many of the parents of microtic kids we've talked to have strongly suggested that we score an Under Armour skull cap to hold the post-op ear dressing firmly in place. And so one cold day last week, amidst an itinerary that included a trip to the Train Museum and quite a few frames of bowling among other activities, we stopped by the nearby Under Armour Outlet store. Ethan picked out not only a bright red skull cap, but a matching bright red headband ... uh, for accessory's sake I guess. And because nobody wants to be the only kid in the group with a skull cap, no matter how badass it makes you look, I picked up a black one for me. You know, as a show of solidarity. Yeah, like those parents who run marathons in honor of their child's birth defect. Totally noble and totally not because it gives me an excuse to look totally badass or anything. Did I mention these things make you look totally badass?
Anyway, we're taking one long, last look at Ethan's virgin ear. We're savoring it, burning its image into our minds so that we'll never forget what this time has been like. May our lives after this week be as drenched with love as our lives before have been.
Ethan, we love you more than our own lives. Whatever happens, know that.
"A long December and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last. I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass." -- Adam Duritz