an old favorite picture that just feels right today
Continued from HERE …
I’d love to tell you that Toys R Us was wonderful, that Brooke found her video and that all was well after that. But not so much.
They had TONS of videos, scores of which looked like they would be right in Brooke’s wheelhouse, but apparently, they didn’t have the RIGHT video. Brooke was wrecked.
I would have done anything for my girl in that moment. My helplessness over all of this – the seizures, the language loss, the not knowing – it was all there as I watched my girl melt into a puddle of toxic anxiety in the video aisle of Toys R Us. I might not be able to stop the electrical storm in my kid’s head, but I could and would take her wherever we needed to go to find a god damned video.
We found Katie and got back into the car. The bookstore was twenty minutes away. It knew it would be a long ride. Well, I thought I knew.
Three minutes down the road, I got pulled over.
As the officer came to the window to tell me that I’d been doing 40 in a 25, Brooke shrieked. As I explained that I’d bought the car the day before and that the registration hadn’t been changed over yet from the car I’d traded in, she screamed, “GO CAR GO!” He took my license and my old car’s registration and promised to be back. We were stuck.
Katie turned to Brooke. “Want to play a game?”
Brooke screamed. “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”
I took a deep breath. This was too much. Just too f$%!ing much.
Katie’s voice was calm, almost eerily so. Her words were slow and measured. Her voice was her Mama’s.
“Brooke, I know you’re upset, but we all are, okay? Everyone is on edge right now because we’re in a stinky situation. But we have a choice, okay? We can play a game and try to have fun while we’re waiting or we can just cry and scream and be mad that we’re stuck here.”
Initially, Brooke chose door number two and screamed. Loudly.
I proposed the Who Am I? Game and Brooke shouted, “I hate that game!”
Katie took a deep breath and loudly exhaled.
“Brooke,” she said, still calm and slow and measured, “how about the ABC game? We can do girls’ names.”
The cop came back with a warning, for which I thanked him profusely.
Katie began with Anastasia.
I reached back and squeezed her hand. Later, I would tell her how much it meant – all of it. She would tell me that she was doing what she’s heard me do a million times. I would cry. But long before then, we’d get to the bookstore and find the perfect Elmo’s World DVD. And it would even be on sale for $6. A little nod from the heavens, perhaps.
This morning, Brooke and I are headed to Children’s hospital to get wired up for a 24 hour EEG. Last night, I let her pick five TV shows to download from iTunes. The iPad is now loaded with Blue’s Clues and Dora and Kai-lan. We chose books to bring – Owl Babies, Dora’s Starry Christmas, and her all time favorite, HUG. We’re bringing the Eegy Sheep and the Gummy Bear blanket. Kiki, Brooke’s imaginary twin, is coming along because, as Brooke tells me, “she needs an EEG too and EEGs are very important.”
The last thing I said to Brooke last night was, “We’ll have fun tomorrow, okay? I know EEGs aren’t always so much fun, but we’ll have a good time there, okay?”
She agreed. She and Kiki are both looking forward to watching their videos and reading their books at the hospital. And, although it sure as hell isn’t my location of choice, I am looking forward to spending time with my girl.
Throughout it all, I will hear my big girl’s voice in my head, like a prayer.
Everyone is on edge right now because we’re in a stinky situation. But we have a choice, okay? We can play a game and try to have fun while we’re waiting or we can just cry and scream and be mad that we’re stuck here.