I picked Alex up from school and I could tell he had a rough day. He was barley hanging on. His little head hung low, shoulders slumped, eyes steadfast in front of him, only seeing the little bit of real estate in front of him. He was following out behind his para, like he was leashed. Little feet shuffling, trying to upturn bits of snow on the sidewalk. Doing everything, heck anything, just to make it to the safety of the of the car. He didn't make it.
Angie, his para starts to relate how bad his day was: His backpack fell open in the morning, his banana--smushed. He had a stick at recess and he was told to put it down. A friend came to close and he stuck his hand in her face. He got in trouble, he took his breaks, he got in trouble still. Snack was ruined--the banana was beyond repair.
As I'm trying to collect him and politely tell his para to shut up, he lost it. Lost it in a way I'd not seen since we went to the east coast for the holidays and threw his routine and world into a tailspin. He started crying, kicking up snow, twirling in circles, head butting me and saying, "bwooop."
Doing things I've not seen in years. Doing things to calm his little mind, to regain some semblance of control. He was unraveling before my very eyes.
Other parents staring, kids looking. All walking a wide circle around us. Me not caring. Only seeing the pain in my little boy, trying to find a way to help him. Calm him. Get him out of here, get him home.
He's still not right. He's irritable, volatile, restless, just a mess. I'm furious. What in the hell could have happened at school to cause this? I've racked my brain and gone over what his para said. Something happened. I'm clueless as to what it was. And I'm mad.
As a last ditch resort, I call his doctor and make an appointment and we head in. He has a positive strep test. My little boy is sick.
After a round of antibiotics and after Alex and his sisters are tucked in for the night, I delve into his backpack and go right to his communication notebook. Folded up neatly inside there is a Medical Exposure Form--Strep. He'd been exposed to Strep.
And just like that, I'm out of the deep end, coming up for air, breathing for the first time in hours.
|My underestimated amaryllis.|