Pablo had a good day. There was a Halloween party in the Castelar conference room in the basement of CHLA (see photo above). He had a blast there. He scored candy and loads of stickers. The kids did spooky and scary art projects. Pablo got his picture taken, and decorated the frame with his name spelled in glow-in-the-dark letters.
He decorated a small pumpkin with foil-y, reflective pumpkin stickers (see pic below).
He also decorated a cut-out paper pumpkin, and the hand-sewn ghost fella you see in the pic below. He wrote his name on the ghost, and fell asleep with it. When I got to the hospital this evening, Pablo was out like a light, with his hand-labeled ghost resting next to him. The skull and crossbones on his red striped shirt were covered in Halloween stickers. Cute and not at all scary to me. When Polly went home, I took off my shoes and climbed in bed next to my precious little boy. I put my arms around him, kissed his hot, bald little head and closed my eyes. I'm finally here, and he is sawing logs. This is as good as it's going to get today. No point in fighting it.
I was grateful for that moment of clarity. It's not always that easy for me. Much of the time, I do want to fight it. I do wrestle with the strange logic of being at work, pushing pushing pushing behind my desk, like a hamster on a wheel, and then wondering what Pablo and Jo Ann are doing down the road at CHLA. Jo Ann and I had dinner this evening on Larchmont, at her favorite Italian spot, Girasole. We talked about the guilty feelings I've been having when I am away from Pablo, at the office, or sleeping at home, so that I can get a solid night's sleep and go to work the next day. Jo Ann understood my pain, and explained to me that I'm supposed to be at work, and she is supposed to be here at CHLA, with Pablo, or with Grady. This might sound obvious to you. But when you mix in lack of sleep, over stimulation in the mental, physical and emotional planes, and a schedule that does not stop, 'obvious' goes out the window. Jo Ann's empathy made me feel a lot better. Instantly. That's why I love her. I think I'll keep her.
Good night, from our room to yours.