Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The excitement builds, and spreads

I've noticed from watching Felix that when children experience strong emotions, including generally positive emotions like happiness or surprise, they often break into tears. My theory is that children lack perspective: their first time down a slide alone might very well be the actual most exciting thing they've done in their whole lives. I think I can relate. Max's imminent arrival--this Thursday!--has set my mind racing through all the unknowns facing us, and, seriously, how can I have the proper perspective?

What kind of feeding technology will he be on? (We only know that they've ordered a different kind of pump than the one we used two nights ago at HSC. You know, the one that required ticklish maintenance every 70 minutes, all night long.) How will we do feeding Max by mouth? How will we monitor his hydrocephalus? His wedge doesn't really fit in his crib--what if we put it in a pack-and-play on the floor? How can we elevate one end of his crib to simulate his hospital bed? And on and on and on.

Felix is obviously picking up on the waves of nervous energy that Carolyn and I are giving off. Today he complained about phantom pains in his legs, feet, and, um, "bum". Could this be a dire childhood illness? When he forgets about it, he walks just fine. And then there are the sudden crying fits. I know how he feels. Tonight, as his bedtime book, he selected I'm a Big Brother.

No doubt if our cat was still alive, she would be acting out too. It's just as well that we don't have to contend with turds left on our pillows on top of everything else.

But of course, Max is the one who has done all of the work so far. I think back to Max's first few days, and his many subsequent brushes with disaster over the past six months. From that perspective, his move home might be just a small step.

Max in his second day of life:
Max and Cj's finger (closeup)