I’m writing from the waiting room of a hospital in Long Island. I thought, however, that about this time, I’d be tweeting from a first grade classroom in Brooklyn.
This morning Nate is going in for surgery of the icky variety, a hopeful remedy to sleep apnea that involves the scraping away of various tonsils and adenoids and other things I’d rather not think about. Originally he said he’d take a taxi here. It was no big deal. I’d pick him up tomorrow. Whatever. Who cares. La la la lala.
You know. Men.
At first I agreed. This morning is Thalia’s last full day of school, which begins with a breakfast party and a parenting showing of a project she’s been working hard on for weeks. I couldn’t imagine missing such a special occasion at school for her. Despite my admission that I don’t in fact “do it all.” I believe I have yet to miss a single recital, parent breakfast, exhibition, class gallery show or grade-wide performance. Certainly not a last day of school.
But it struck me last night, that Nate needed me. Even if he said he didn’t. (Even if he’ll be pissed that I’m writing about this at all.) And I knew that Thalia didn’t need me. Even if she said she did.
It’s the first time that I’ve had to choose between my partner and my child in some semi-significant way.
I didn’t sleep well.
This morning I woke up around 5 (yippee), and soon after explained to my girls how important it was for Daddy to wake up with someone to look after him. I promised that I’d be sure to see the project at school, even if it required a note to the teacher and a special private tour.
Of course it’s hard to bear the idea of my daughter as the only one in the class without a parent there to beam over her work and let her pose proudly for photos next to it. I can only hope the proverbial village of parents jumps in, as I know they will. But it was worse to think of Nate, waking up disoriented, in pain, all alone. 30 miles from home, no less.
So now, I wait, having just sent him off, disoriented, in the hopefully capable hands of men in green scrubs
Something about seeing those scrubs bring the tears. I was okay with the nurses’ silly polka dot couture. But That particular shade of green, that’s the color of people in movies who stand over an unconscious body, asking, “scalpel?”
I’ll feel better when I get the message in a few hours that all is well and Nate is recovering. I’ll feel better when I know that he can just squeak out enough words to make fun of the images of Catholic saints around the hospital there to watch over his Secular Humanist soul. And he can be completely annoyed that I am anxious and emotional. Or really, that I’m writing about this at all.
I see now that even if I had been at Thalia’s show, I wouldn’t have really been there.