Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31, 2006

This week His Holiness celebrated his third birthday and had an operation that required him to undergo general anesthesia. The first of these two events was great fun, a birthday party with his German Oma and the Aunts and Uncles and cousins with whom he loves to play. HH holds his own special variety of court on days like this, when so many special people are gathered in the apartment, summoning them into his bedroom individually, or in the case of his favorite Tante Doris and Oncle Peter, as a pair. When their time is up, when they have played the game or read the book or experienced whatever it was he wanted to experience with them, they are taken by the hand and walked carefully but deliberately back to the living room where another lucky soul will be selected. At the end of it all, when he senses the day is nearing its end, or when he realizes that he will not have Mama or Papa’s undivided attention until the guests leave, he begins to move through the rooms of the apartment returning shoes and crunching up his little fist into a goodbye wave. And so it was on this day; with the ritual distribution of the shoes his official birthday party ended and for the rest of the day and far into the evening, well past his normal bedtime, he played in his room with one or both of us, testing the endurance of his new toys and his party-weary parents.

Yesterday, freshly three and having only a vague notion of what he was about to experience, he rose very early in the morning and with his favorite bear and blanket was off to have a minor surgical procedure, minor but for the fact that it required general anesthesia. Through the entire experience he was brave and confident. His doctors remarked that they had never known a child of his age to react with such calm to all the many invasions and punctures and strange experiences to which he was exposed. At the end of it all he was given a certificate of bravery and off we went. He is sleeping now, exhausted from a very unusual day. Before he went to sleep last night he asked me to tell him the story of the hospital, the story of the day he had just witnessed, as if through hearing it in a story it would all make sense to him, or maybe it wasn’t that at all, maybe hearing a story about the events of his life, our lives, allows him to remember them longer … I wish I knew.