Yes, we had some milk spillage tonight, and no, that is not a yoga pose or a new form of child punishment. I mean come on folks, ain’t no thang in this house — especially on a night like this. I was so calm when I heard the telling “oops” from behind me. But honestly, how could I yell, or even get exasperated and scold when I was the distant one expecting my six year old to pour his own milk. And that’s when I realized on a seizure night everything is different.
We all assume different personas as we cope and grasp at anything that can ground us. My son becomes super helpful and responsible. (He is good anyway,) but he starts buzzing around trying to do anything that makes us all feel better. He chooses grown-up things like pouring from a full gallon into a little cup resting on a ledge a little too high, or wiping up huge spills with one paper towel (I still didn’t get mad), or picking up toys without being asked. Tonight it meant taking care of himself. (It breaks my heart and warms it at the same time, but that is for a different post.)
I’ve decided we change because our little team of 4 needs each person’s greatest strengths to come through. It explains why I was so calm with D when he asked for help AFTER the spill and the made-up curse word he exclaimed just fell into the silence. In the face of real danger or threats or stress I find ultimate calm and focus. It’s back-asswards people! I am a nut on a daily basis, running around, juggling too many things and always feeling unorganized. Perhaps the REAL me laughs at crazy me every other day, but when it’s life or death I am in complete control. So that’s a relief.
Except I can’t control Reese’s seizures or how they make her daddy feel. My amazing husband, the tender-hearted, card-for-every-occasion, gentle, compassionate man, who was meant to have a baby girl, just freezes. The one who keeps this house going every other day with all the little mundane tasks, like trash and dishes (yes, he does way more than I do), stops to hold her. He is her protector, as he should be. She can look so small curled up in a ball next to him. He can’t let her out of his sight, while he waits for the next one. It’s soooo hard for me to know what to do for him. This is where we are so different. And that is why I step into my alter ego I guess, and I let him assume his post.
But none of us, on a night like this, felt any need to cry over spilled milk, and thanks to our special journey I don’t think we ever will.