Nuggles & tisses

Monday, December 7th

Tristan is in a steroid craze that — sometimes — is almost comical. His mood swings from low to high, then plunges again unpredictably. The other morning he was stomping around telling his big brother (who could squash him with one finger) that he’s going to chop off his head and kick his butt, and the next moment he was singing to a happy, cheerful tune, “My mommy and daddy just don’t care,” over and over again. I don’t know where he gets these things. Let’s blame it on the older siblings…Though I did get busted yesterday morning. Gary had Tristan and Phoebe outside while I shopped with Tomas for Christmas cookie-making supplies. Tristan said, “Whew Daddy, it’s cold! You’d better yip (sic; zip) up my jacket or I’ll freeze my balls off!” Gary stifled a chuckle and asked Tristan where he learned that. “From Mommy,” he said. Shoot. There is no escaping that accusation. It’s possible that my belief that my kids can learn the right and wrong times to use profanity will fail with my third child. Uh oh.

My littlest is also often full of love while he’s feeling so low. The other day he got a new small Lego. When his siblings snuffed and snorted their disappointment at being denied a similar gift, Tristan said, “Guys, I don’t have any present to give you, just nuggles and tisses (sic; snuggles and kisses) and love.” During some periods, he says, “Mommy I love you,” about every seventeen seconds.

Tristan’s hair started falling out Friday morning. He was very, very tired and wanted to lie on my chest much of the morning. I petted his head, and his fine baby hair stuck to my fingers. Despite my efforts to be proactive, buzzing his head back at the end of July, I had started to wonder if he might somehow get through this with his hair still on his head, and I had let his hair grow out a bit. Saturday we got the clippers out again and buzzed him very short. Somehow it’s just better this way. I don’t want to see his baby hair on his shirt, and the couch, and my fingers. My nurse friend Khara says he’s going to be a gorgeous little peanut-head. I think she’s right.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how strange it is to purposefully do such scary and dramatic and awful things as chemotherapy as to my son. I get it. I get that it works. I get that I have to do it, that there’s no choice. But to hurt my son, to torture him in this weird chemical way, on purpose, to achieve some greater good…it’s simply hard to swallow wholesale without some serious spiritual and philosophical angst. Three years from now I’ll look back on all this and will know that it was all worth it. Right? Right. Definitely, certainly, undeniably right. Gotta go on that.

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We’re home and happy to be home. Tomas and Phoebe and I made sugar cookies yesterday. Tristan was too tired and instead sat on the kitchen couch. This morning we are at Oma’s while the big kids are at school. We’re hanging in there, and having moments of fun when we can. Tristan is really a positive little guy, and seems to try to make the best of most things. He keeps saying, “I’m not sick anymore. It’s just the medicine that makes me feel sick. But I’m not sick anymore. My sickness is gone.”

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Just a few photos from recent runs. I love the contrast between our windy mountain and tough-love Eureka.

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