When Max walks in to his audiology appointment on Monday, he’ll be wearing a mask and an eye patch and glasses. He’ll be loaded up with two different heart medications and a shot of growth hormone. Poor little guy, more machine than man, dragged from specialist to specialist. But he’ll also be wearing suspenders and a bow tie because it’s a big day and he’s a kid who likes to look sharp. He’ll be carrying his new first grader’s magazine, and he’ll pore over it with all the joy of a brand-new reader. He’ll be humming something complicated from Wohlfahrt’s 60 Violin Etüden because that’s what Frida’s practicing right now, and he sits outside her room when she practices and sings along with her playing, even if it’s scales. He’ll have ideas for places to go afterwards, for treats to eat, for things to notice and questions to ask and jokes to make.
Society’s investment in Max is absolutely absurd and absolutely wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Despite writing about me me me on this joint for years, I am shockingly unaware of my own thoughts and feelings. Last week, when I looked in the trash can and saw a recyclable yogurt container that I threw away the day before, I knew that I was feeling a bit hopeless about the future. If a glimpse at my phone record shows that I haven’t called anyone but doctors in 3 days, I realize I’m putting off sharing bad news with my loved ones.
Good news, then, as I review this week’s purchases:
An inadvisable amount of chicory, fresh sauerkraut, lots of leafy greens, and some new vitamins. I must want to feel healthy and alive!
A new book, a subscription to a literary magazine, an upgrade to my website’s hosting services. It’s as though I intend to be smart and creative all at once!
Potted bulbs. Oh, the newness! The growth! The beauty! The great hope that comes with blooming flowers!
Tickets for Brass Band Yoga at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich in May. I might be a little manic. That’s a helluvalotta hope right there.
Still, better to be filled with hope, art, and wonder than to burn the world down one yogurt cup at a time.
May your Friday be filled with small joys and the time to notice them. May your disappointments be met with placidity rather than anger. I joke about the far-fetched nature of my ridiculous plans, but damn it feels good to be hopeful.
We’re having some concerns with Max’s heart lately: the walls are getting too thick too quickly, and he has a new type of tachycardia that his rescue medicine won’t work for. Rather than send that train of thought into a tunnel of darkness, let’s think of this:
Max is fairly committed to being a robot. He has me press a button on his cheek to open his mouth to eat, and enter a code on his chest to get him to unfreeze or to change into pyjamas. He issues terse instructions and narrates the goings-on at the playground in a deep little robot voice. This morning, as we were getting ready to brush teeth, Max the robot crawled into my lap and said, “Out of battery. Need to go to docking station.” Then he snuggled right in and I tried not to let my leaky eyes cause any rust or electrical damage.
I don’t know how long his little life will last, but oh boy is it a good one.