It’s been a hard week. Charlie is suffering the effects of the mother of all chemos and despite my best homeopathic attempts I’ve been unable to stave off the internal atom bomb that’s now ripping through his ulcered mouth, throat, gut and bum. True to the unmovable rock that he is, and frustratingly for me, he has refused cuddles, preferring instead to curl up in a ball and whimper through it, in and out of a morphine sleep. Like I say, a hard week to bear. I’ve seen some sights but this one is up there on my list of ‘never agains’.
Mind, the smoke will clear and in its charcoal wake will be left a boy minus the Neuroblastoma cells……here’s hoping. Not the same boy, my little gosling, losing his hair as if by dynamite, but an older, tougher, wiser model……one who has seen more than he should for his years.
Times like this and the only thing I can do is fix him with my ever constant gaze and drift off with him into a late afternoon reverie to the Italian beach I plan on taking him to next summer. Mio bambino. Healthy, tanned, tall and handsome, his silhouette skipping and laughing in and out of the crystalline water. Putting some much needed carefree back into his soul.
I’m pulled back into our room at the hospital which despite my best attempts still feels like a cell, by a little voice…….”Mummy”. I go to him and he leans into me and I rock in him my arms and stroke his head and whisper “Everything’s going to be fine”. Because it will be. And whatever age you are, if you’re in a bad place or are just feeling low, Mother stands for comfort and there’s nothing that can replace that feeling. For me motherhood has been a complex ride so far. Knowing when he pokes his head out of his teepee that he wants me to play Tonto to his cowboy. One day soon he will want to run off and leave me behind to play among chiefs of his own age and I’ll find that both sad and satisfying to watch. I know I’ve done so much wrong. Some days we argue and shout at each other like we’re both kids. And I’ve not been as disciplined as I should have been with him. Maybe that’s where he gets his ‘kiss my ass’ attitude from. I smile at that because that’s who he is. It’s who WE are and that in all its imperfections is the story of everyman’s life. Christ, I hope I don’t fail him…….