Thursday, June 30, 2011


My emotions have been a little too pendulous these days. The end of this month is bringing some huge changes.
This afternoon Fynnie had her last appointment with Dr. Present. We were hoping to get a vaccination in so she'd be caught up to our schedule before transferring. She'd been too sick with another of her recurrent nasty fevers in May and it threw us off.

Part of me wanted to bring all of the kids. And the camera. Or to leave photos of our kids behind. There is a wall of photos. It's something that had been started by the previous pediatrician, that Dr. Present and his wife continued. There are three photos of Corey up there. Preschool, kindergarten and, I think, second grade. No photos of the girls. They have never had any professional shots done. (*sigh* That's the downside of getting Tom to agree that I needed an expensive camera with a nice lens.) I haven't seen the wall updated in several years.

I forgot the camera this morning and decided not to go back for it because, well, I could see myself letting the emotions take over if I made too big of a deal about it.

Corey did not join us for the appointment, but Mad did. Having gone a couple of times where she didn't get a shot and she did get a sucker, there was none of the drama tension of previous visits.

During the appointment, we had a list of questions we wanted answered. Some of them we know will have to be addressed with the new ped, but it was important to me that we have some way of judging his... worthiness, I guess.

No shot for Fynnie Girl as she, like all of us, is sick. Ear infections are popping up. Doc prescribed antibiotics today because he's closed Thursdays.

After all of our questions were answered and handmade chocolates from a local shop were given, it was time to go.

Dr. Present encouraged us to call him if we ever have any questions or if we need anything. His nurses did the same as we made our way to the door.

This new insurance better be damn good.

It's one thing to change insurance companies. But we are transferring to a completely different insurance model.

I went to get Fynn's prescription filled at our regular pharmacy. It's around the corner from where we used to live. In the store where we used to shop.

The pharmacy tech and the pharmacist and I have known each other since Corey was a baby. Heck, I would have sworn the pharmacy tech was just a baby when I met him (turns out he's almost my age... whatever). These are people who have filled prescription after prescription for Corey. They have a sense of what's gone on with him. They ask about him when he's not with me and they're kind to him when he is.

I was in that store at that pharmacy counter while in early labor with Madelyn.

These people are part of huge stories in my life. And now they are gone. From us. It's not like a meteor struck or something.

We'll have to go to different pharmacies now. Ones that are part of our new network. I'm sure the new people will be great. I'm sure we'll have other huge stories. But I like walking up to the counter and finding people who are happy to see me.

Does it seem like I'm overly emotional about pediatricians and nurses and pharmacy staff? Well wait, there's more.

On Tuesday Corey will be 18.

Every year around this time I have told him little stories about when I was pregnant with him. It's a tradition that he has been unaware of, loved, felt annoyed by but tolerated and then loved again. It's never been a "sit here and let me tell you" sort of deal. Just little thoughts thrown in here and there during general conversations. Since I can't seem to have any general sorts of conversations with him right now, I'm going to have them with you. Pull up a chair and pretend to be a surly teen so the illusion isn't broken.

"On this day in 1993, I woke up from a dream that I'd met you and knew you were a boy. It was kind of a creepy dream, involving a homeless woman and me shopping around for baby clothes. When we couldn't decide whether to buy for a boy or a girl, she removed you (harmlessly) from my belly. We tried on boy clothes and they looked fine. We tried on girl clothes and they looked great! But I still knew you were a boy. I also saw you around age seven, playing at a park (you looked nothing like yourself). I woke up and said out loud, "It's Cameron." Moments later my phone rang and your grammy called to tell me that Auntie Mary also just had a dream that you were a boy.

"Two Fridays before you were due, your great grandparents accompanied me to my appointment. I'm pretty sure it was Great Grandpa's first time at a prenatal appointment. They were loaded with camera equipment. I asked them not to take any pictures of my belly because those fiery stretch marks were embarrassing. I wish I had a recording of their faces and gasps and comments as they heard your heart beating. Even better would be a little clip of your generally stoic Great Grandpa leaning over my belly and firmly instructing you to be born on your Great Grandma's birthday (conveniently your due date), complete with finger pointing, a twinkle in his eye and a "you hear?"

"Exactly one week before your due date, your dad and I spent the day at a chili cook-off in our neighborhood. That afternoon we went out to the water (we lived in San Diego's Ocean Beach) and tossed a Frisbee back and forth. It made people nervous every time I went after the Frisbee. After a while I sat down and read while Stephen went out in the water. There was a 45 minute period where I couldn't find him out there. Mostly I tried to keep reading and acting nonchalant, but I was freaking out. I made a deal with god that I would name you the name you have if only Stephen were safe. You don't look like a Cameron anyway, but the funny thing is, if I hadn't made that deal, you wouldn't have your name. It took serious balls to give you that name. I wasn't even sure I believed in any god, but I wasn't reneging on my end of the bargain just in case.

"That same evening we headed to the hospital to pre-register. I remember looking at the line of cars still flooding our little piece of the peninsula and hoping we wouldn't have to go to the hospital when all the beach goers were usually heading home.

"The night before you were born, the moon was a crescent and it sat high in the sky over a brilliant star. For almost a decade, that continued to be true on your birthday, too."


Brooke said...

Well I failed at being a "surly teenager" as I'm sitting at work crying instead of rolling my eyes while reading your post. Beautiful!

Bossy Betty said...

Changes in any form--the loss of a doctor, the change in a child--all these require courage to face. I absolutely loved the story for Corey. Ah, we love these children, don't we? And we keep them alive in their various stages of life in our hearts. Hang in there, Mama.

Emms said...

I, also, failed at the surly teenager role. What a beautiful and poetic post that invited thoughts of how I could do something similar with my bug. It brought tears to my eyes and made me feel as though I was there.
Happy 18 birthday Corey.

JT said...

This is a beautiful, touching memory. Its so special and sacred that I really appreciate that you shared it. The love just soaks though.

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