Saturday, February 25, 2006

a boy in the bath

My son D. lives in the moment. I am trying to learn from him.

D. is 2, or, as he says, "at my next birthday I be three." Tonight he had a bath. This is a small victory in our house. For months now, mere mention of bathing has been enough to make him run screaming from the room.

Tonight, he willingly climbed into the bath, washed himself, played with his toys, his fears forgotten. I had to pull the plug to get him out and even then he didn't notice until the tub was empty, inquiring "Where did the water go?"

After we put his Spiderman pajamas on ("Grammy gave these to me") and brushed his teeth with his SpongeBob toothbrush (the influences of an older brother), he climbed into my lap for a story (poetry, actually, Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee).

I watched his face as he took in the pictures, completely absorbed. He belly-laughed at some of the silly-sounding words. And then he climbed into bed to read to himself.

D. can focus completely on whatever is right in front of him, whether pleasure or irritant.

My older son, S., is a dreamer and a worrier (at 7, he's a child who would lie awake worrying about cancer before he knew his mother had it). He finds it very hard to be in the moment, anticipating the next activity so much that the present goes by unnoticed. I am like that too.

Sometimes it has served me well, helping me to plan and anticipate problems before they arise.

But both S. and I need to learn how to enjoy what is happening right now and not lose sight of that in anticipation of the future.

My children are growing up so quickly. Every age is interesting, challenging and fun. They are so different from each other but both such beautiful, engaging and interesting kids. I need to stop rushing ahead in time so I can enjoy them more, savour each moment with them.

Especially now.

I have my first appointment with the oncologist on Monday, and then an appointment with a radiation oncologist a week after that. This is much sooner than I expected to hear. Good to move ahead but also a little frightening.

I am going to try and enjoy this week end, and every moment, to work very hard at not worrying about what the coming weeks will bring.

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