I know, I promised.
Loosen up your shoes.
Here’s an odd little tale.
Some years back this guy (someone kinda Saucy) fell in love with dis gurl. [no Brooklynese pal, you are a Vermonter living in California.]
They got married. It, for the most part, was a really good match. They were best friends. They stayed lovers. Minus her periodic penchant for being in her cups and becoming embarrassing to herself and sometimes even him—she was incredible. He, despite various minor foibles and one big one—that being an inability to tell himself no when it came to technological expenditures which sometimes caused fiscal stress was a solid partner and a good husband.
She wanted kids. He was terrified of the prospect. They discussed it while enjoying the ability to jump each other at will, laughing together about soccer moms and dads on Saturday mornings (while they went back to bed for a nap,) and over numerous dinners out and at home. He did all the cooking. She did the kitchen clean-up. It was fairly equitable.
About two and a half years before she talked him into conception, she lost her hearing in one ear. She thought it was just a clogged ear. Doctors prescribed decongestants. By the time they figured out the true story—it was too late to do anything (and might have been from minute one.) This gal had suffered from Sudden Hearing Loss Syndrome. Look it up. That dick Rush Limbaugh had it recently. So. Her Right Ear was deaf. It took the boy in her life a while to GROK that it didn’t help to yell, “I’m over here!” in response to her, “Where are you?” Stereo hearing rocks. Anyway. She did talk him into trying to have a baby. He was still terrified as shit at the prospect of taking this little person and bringing it up in a big, bad, world and helping to try and make it a whole human being. He knew that no matter what, no matter how much nurture—it could be that nature might not be kind. You could have a lovely little person and it could turn out all wrong. You might have a genius that was an unhappy adult flipping burgers or a stupid-person with no people skillz who would become a Nobel Laureate. There was just no telling. And no turning back. So… one summer they decided that she would probably be fertile and had been off the pill for more than 90 days and in a weekend they went for it. It is probable that they nailed the little egg on the first try (or second or third or…whatever) But either way, that first weekend of happy trying that combined the best of love-making with the finest of phucking was probably the conception of a little boy.
She had a great pregnancy. She had never felt better. The hormones were a dream. She worked at her fairly physical job nearly up to his birth. She was hornier than she had ever been. Blood flow to the nether regions is a wonderful thing. Their son was born about five and a half weeks early. She had started bleeding from a partial placental abruption (his finger nails?) and the body just did the rest. He was born skinny, bruised from the fast blast through the birth-canal, but whole and hale. What an amazing and surprising Father’s Day—as they were due to have a shower for her the following weekend…and instead the kid showed up the previous Sunday. Bing-Bang-Boom, they were whisked out of the hospital by the insurance company and headed home with a skinny little boy (who at the time looked like a tiny old man.)
The first year of his life was a challenge. Breast feeding was rough for her initially as he and she couldn’t figure out how to latch properly for a bit—and then the wonderful little sucker tore her nipples up. But it worked out. [An aside? Breast milk is weird tasting. And avoid the first yellowy dusty sips as those are disgusting but great for the child as the milkflow comes in.] The kid quit breast feeding suddenly at six months (not fast enough mom!) and that was a bit of a trial for her. She rode a bit of depression on and off during that year. Her guy took as much of the daily responsibility on as he could. Initially she didn’t want to go back to work, and then once she had started daycare she didn’t want to pick the child up before the end of the day even if she was done working early. Mssr. LeSauce took on more of the chores with the child—and didn’t feel bad about it, loved it in fact. She started drinking more. Something seemed wrong in their household. By the time the kid was two and a half (and yes, at some point I’ll detail his amazing little steps from newborn to toddler) she had decided that they were going to get divorced. But rather than just discuss it, she made the determination that the best way to handle it was to get her guy to leave her… More drinking ensued. More acting out. More of everything that could possibly cause rifts. Her fellow hung in there. So, she got serious and started sleeping around without having discussed it first--and even then the outcome probably would have been the same (initially with gals… then with they and their husbands.) It got icky. He finally understood that she was doing all this on purpose and wanted HIM to end the relationship. He explained such to her. She agreed that this was the case. All she had to do was tell him it was over. Take her share of responsibility for ending the marriage. Separation ensued. They shared week-on, week-off joint custody of the little guy for about six months. She promised to focus on him and not drink while he was in her care. It didn’t all work out that way—but the child was not harmed and she mostly held up her bargain. Her former husband was always happy to take on more of their kid when she felt like playing… it became sixty/forty.
Then she lost her other ear. Poof. Sudden Hearing Loss again. This time they understood what had happened, got her on high-dosage steroids fast… saved 13 percent of the hearing in that ear. With a hearing aid at 120 db she could understand 33 percent of spoken word face-to-face in a quiet room.
They moved her back in with your diarist. Different rooms, same household. Just til’ she got on her feet. She mourned her hearing deeply. Drank a bit extra to compensate. Played around as much as she could. Didn’t work. He found it a very difficult experience—but as they were still on their way to divorce—and he wanted to do whatever allowed for good joint custody for their son—he remained polite in the face of the mess.
As he was able to save enough… he moved out this time. Covered all her monthly bills. Picked up more and more of the son aspect of their life… And then one afternoon ON HER WAY TO PICK UP THEIR KID (OK. I'm still mad about that part...) from preschool she stopped to visit a friend (and according to her in the following day, for the first time in her life decided to try a bit of Crystal Meth in the interest of losing weight.) A bit. Five hits off a glass pipe. She had a brain hemorrhage. Complaining of a bad headache she went to the doctor. The boy’s father (moi!) went to pick up the son…knowing that she had had a major headache and been taken to the doctor. Dad and son were making dinner for the not-yet-five-year-old when they got a call to come and watch her as the headache was bad and she had been given Demoral. They packed up dinner and went to her house to watch her… Slept together on the little boy’s twin bed as she seemed disoriented and wanted to leave the house… The headache continued. She was barfing from the pain. As soon as the little boy was back at school the soon-to-be-ex-husband (me again… this literary device sucks. Remind me not to type in third person removed next time) took her to the doctors. He went to work. An hour later he got a call. “Could you come in and take your ‘wife’ to the ER?” OK.
When your correspondent got to the doctor’s they wouldn’t tell him where she was… it was his insurance and her file had been locked down for privacy reasons. Odd living in California, eh? He went to the MRI area where he had left her and conned a nurse into showing him where she had taken the mother of their kid. Soon it was clear that something more was wrong… After some wrangling of permission from the soon-to-be-ex… your diarist was told the reason for all the privacy concern. Crystal Meth and a pipe… and a brain hemorrhage. Off they went to the ER at another hospital. She continued to have a massive headache and be disoriented. After explaining the situation (no one had called) to various and sundry—they got her a meeting with a brain specialist. He put her in a Critical Care Unit for observation. Your diarist went and picked up his boy. They did a lot of hugging. He explained that mommy was in the hospital. The next day she seemed a bit better… the blood was being reabsorbed… the pressure on her brain was letting up. The father took his kid to the hospital to see Mom. The talked a lot about tubing and beeping machines and Mommy’s headache. The father sat the kid down in the midst of the CCU and answered any questions the son had about hospitals, Mom, doctors, and on… Off they went.
The next day the father took the son again (after having called numerous times to be sure that things were OK and improving.) This time on arrival the Mom was tied down. She was lurching about. She had tried to leave the hospital and then followed with seizures. Needless to say, the father was pissed at not having been called, spending hours in traffic, and taking a little boy to see his mom tied down and seizing.
Things got worse.
Seizures led to strokes.
Half her body was paralyzed.
Her mom took her home to Virginia and is her keeper. There have been minor physical improvements. Speech has returned but it is Aphasic and Apraxic. What goes in or comes out doesn’t match the intent.
The kid and his father are fine. The little boy has been through quite a year—but really seems to be pretty together about the whole Mommy thing. It was something of a kindness to the kid that she had lost her hearing when he was even younger and that they had drifted apart due to communication problems and drink.
He is in Kindergarten now. At a Waldorf School (Google that if you wish…) Cool school. Nurturing as hell. They have some wacky ideas underpinning the rationale for the school—but they don’t seem harmful to the little boy. Grin. Single Fatherhood Continues.
The kid’s dad loves being a father. It is soooo freaking cool. They are pals. They are lucky to have one another—and even luckier to have gotten through the past few years with some sanity and aplomb.
The divorce thing is yet to be figured out.
It doesn’t seem to matter much at the moment.
More fun next entry. I promise. Less hardship and loss.