She is alternating between praising my “adorable” son (I can’t say I disagree) and going over proposed goals for the new year.
I wait until she is finished to ask if there is anything we could be doing at home to facilitate his Occupational Therapy program.
She tells me to buy bigger legos.
Lighter playground balls.
“Think modified” she says.
I think about the fridge door that has to be bolted shut because monchichi thinks muenster cheese slices are appropriate couch accessories.
I think about the safety-locked bathroom and cupboard doors beacause my Trader Joe’s Peanut Sauce kept making it’s way into the bathtub and cooking dinner with the mystery cans was becoming the culinary version of russian roulette.
I think about the youtube video on repeat, a daily ritual to help get the anti-seizure meds down his uncooperative throat.
I think about the giant orange construction fence used to block the driveway on lazy summer afternoons.
I think about the pre-cooked bags of noodles in the fridge, waiting to be doused in melted butter, because the bags under his eyes are finally fading and he might have actually gained a pound or two this month.
I think about the coaxing, the hand holding, the 853 times we’ve had to sing Happy Birthday in the past six months.
I think about missed playdates and midnight pharmacy runs, paranoid calls to the doctor and therapist-supervised community outings.
I think about how someone else might look at our life and wonder what the hell is going on and that it makes no sense and why aren’t we pulling our hair out and drinking our breakfast on the rocks?
I think about not being able to get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee without feeling a tug on the perpetual umbilical cord and that maybe I could do without a toilet companion.
I think about how it’s all we know and that our love is a force more powerful than fear or anger or resentment and that mystery can dinners aren’t nearly as awful as they sound.
I look across the table
at this pretty little thing
as she smiles sweetly
obviously proud that she has given me this sage advice
“Honey,” I say, smiling sweetly right back at her, “it’s a modified Life.”