Monday, June 15, 2009

A conversation with Aria

Aria was beginning to emerge from the steroid cocoon she had sheltered in for more than month. It was marvelous to see her again, to hear her humor and to witness how she was coming to terms with everything that had already happened to her. I’m in awe of this child.

Date: February 20, 2008
Subject: A conversation with Aria

Despite a few ups and downs in the last few days, Aria is really beginning to emerge once again. Yesterday, she laughed for the first time since around Christmas. It was a hearty belly laugh too, which is music to my ears. She’s also started telling stories again. They go something like this; “Hey, mom, one aunt and my uncle will take me to the beach for a picnic and I will say, ‘Bye Mama, I’ll see you tonight!’ Then you will say, ‘Oh, Aria, I will miss you!’ Then I will say, ‘It’s alright Mama don’t be sad, I’ll see you tomorrow.’ Then you will say, ‘yeah, I feel happy again!’ Then, I will say, ‘That’s great!’ “ This is spoken as if its a run-on sentence and almost in a single breath. Makes me smile to just think about it!

This morning Aria and Reo had a conversation on the way to school that just made my day. Aria isn’t attending school but Reo is so we were dropping him off. By the way, Aria hasn’t yet expressed any interest in going back to school. I suppose when she starts talking about it again, we’ll consider it. Right now, it isn’t even an option for another few months. She may go for the last week or 2 of school for a morning or 2 and that’s it. We’ll see. It seems like a long way away...

So we’re driving along in some really dense fog when Aria says, “This ‘frog’ sure is blocking the sun! Hey, when the sun comes out it will melt the snow. Then it will be Spring! Then it will be summer and we can open the pool! Hey, guess what? I won’t need my lifejacket anymore, cause I’m a big girl now!”

Reo says under his breath, “You sure are, Aria.”

I then add, “Hey, Aria do you want to know something funny?”

“Yeah, what!” she replies.

I tell her, “You know how in the summer we have to use sunscreen so we don’t get a sunburn? Well, you’re going to have to have some sunscreen on your head because you won’t have any hair! Isn’t that amazing!”


I’m thinking, “Holy crap, someone’s got his undies in a wad! What is the big deal here! I realize that its ‘Mr. everything-has-to-be-as- predictable-as-possible’ so sunscreen on the head is just way too weird!” I took a deep breath because what I wanted to say was something like, “Gee Whiz Reo, what’s your problem?! I wasn’t even talking to you, so just zip it!” I know better than to add fuel to the fire, so I breathed again and very calmly said, “Reo, honey, what I said was that since Aria’s hair is falling out, she will have to use sunscreen on her head or she’ll have to wear a hat. Is your hair falling out?”

Very quietly he says, “No.”

“Do you take medicine for your ‘sissles’ (this is what Aria calls her leukemia..that’s another story) that makes your hair fall out?” I ask.

“No.” he replies with resignation.

Aria chimes in, “Yeah, Reo, you do not have sissles. I have sissles, so my hair is gonna all come out!..pause…Hey Reo, you do not have diarrhea in your butt!”

Reo says in all seriousness, “I sure don’t, Aria.”

At this point I’m laughing so hard but I have to suppress it a little, actually a lot, because Aria is being so serious and straightforward. This is the first glimpse I’ve had of her process and what a doozie!

Aria is coming back and life is that much happier for us all!

No comments:

Post a Comment