Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Fragility of Goodness
Sometimes the reminders of the above are incredibly swift. Iris had a bicycle accident yesterday - in the strangeness that follows, we spent five hours in the emergency room, were under lockdown for an altercation in the waiting room, had conversations about stitches vs. gluing, and in the end she came home around 11 p.m. with three stitches in her mouth and a very swollen face. But her head and her nose and her chin are fine - a chipped tooth in the front we can deal with later. Baby Pink Dragon and Her Friend the Little Girl made a re-appearance from last year and sustained us for the duration. I always think that kids are incredibly brave anyway, and Iris's quiet confrontation with what was going on was humbling. Stitches are simple and efficacious and utterly unnerving, too. These will dissolve after a week or two. In the meantime, I can feed her through a syringe, and I'm going to try to not worry about how swollen everything is. This feeding is both a careful and heartbreaking act and has her as my little little one all over again. She can't talk either, and the quiet is very strange. Time and space shift with events like these and the realizations they provoke. Things aren't unrelated. The respite from fear for the health of a friend has ended with some difficult news yesterday. We make plans to gather, just somehow to be together. Here at home, Iris and I are staying close and thinking far away: we've drawn pictures from David Stein's garden (it's in Brittany and is apparently growing pumpkins) and from that room in the Children's Museum in Indianapolis where you can make machines (ever working on that perfume dispensing machine for cars) - we've also played a significant amount of UNO and now, Madagascar 2 is doing the trick. I see her powering down into the pain. Rest is what I start to hope for. The fragility of goodness puts things into suspended animation. You're waiting for the next thing, for some certitude you can either fight or embrace.