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September 27, 2002
waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash
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It's a little over a week until Zac's surgery. And I am so scared.

It's so typical that Ryan is being the well-informed, calm, together one in this situation. I am always the one who hides her head in the sand and pretends nothing is wrong. One time, I forgot to pay my student loan bill and it got really out of control until I couldn't pay it and I was afraid to tell Ryan and one morning they called me and freaked us both out, but Ryan calmly sat down and figured out what we would do. And he's doing the same thing now. He's joining support groups and asking questions and, as a result, I feel like a ninny.

Virtually every single person I know knows someone who knows a kid who's had the same condition and every case is the same thing: the kid is perfectly fine and you can't even tell there was ever any abnormality. But still, the unutterable races through my mind: what if he dies? what if he goes deaf or blind? what if I (gulp) look at him afterwards and he's so bruised and awful-looking I don't want to go near him and I confirm my worst fear: that I am a terrible mother.

What I said, when asked by a complete stranger on a bus if I, clearly the mother of two, was "done, or planning on having more": "um, I don't know, we'll see". What I should have said: "No, we want five or six more. We're raising them for food, you know."

I have realized that Zac and Kate are my purpose in life. And that really freaks me out. Because I really don't know what I would do without either of them. When I've had a really bad day or don't feel well, all I have to do is creep into my room at around 11 pm and look at this to know I am so very, very lucky.

Which I might have said before. But it bears repeating.


If it's any consolation, there are people all around the country (world?) pulling for Zac. I told Ryan, but I don't know if I mentioned to you, that my brother had the same condition years and years ago, when the treatments were not nearly as advanced. Today he is a triathlete, father of two (one more coming) and the only residual problem is correctable 20/200 vision. I am keeping faith that Zac will end up with a similar life story.

Posted by: Dreama at September 29, 2002 12:28 PM

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