Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Incident

Last year, after the Incident, we were simply happy to be home with all of us alive. We didn't really want anything else to happen, and our all desires were small and domestic.

Since then, as the Noodle slowly progresses back to health, our desires and the space in which to pursue them has expanded, and expanded, and expanded again.

The first few days that Noodle was sick, when he was in intensive care and ventilated, all we wanted was for him to keep trying to breathe. The orange light on the side of the machine would come on whenever he tried to take a breath for himself. Watching it was mesmerizing. We wanted his heart to slow down, and to try to beat regularly.

A few days later, when he was breathing only with a mask we hoped he would soon be able to eat and drink through his mouth.

Two days later we hoped he would be able to leave intensive care and go on the ward. We hoped he would be able to lose some of the many tubes poking into his body, although we had no idea how deeply some of them were inserted or how much it would hurt to pull them out.

After he went to the ward we slowly and carefully dusted off the hope that we would be able to come home together one day in the future, and even this only lasted a few weeks, because eventually we could take him to the hotel while we waited for our insurance company to organise flights home for us.

On his first day in intensive care we thought we'd be able to bring him out of hospital the next day - we had never experienced a serious illness before, so we had no idea what being a hospital parent actually meant. By the second day we just hoped we would be able to bring him home one day, and that he would wake up so that he could see us wanting him well.

We've had him home with us now for ten months. And now we want all kinds of things. But that does not mean for even a second that I'm not as glad, relieved and grateful to have him here with me as that moment when he opened his eyes in intensive care on the wrong side of the planet and asked why a person couldn't have a piece of toast with jam. Let jam = happiness forever.

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