I have a mini essay on Geoffrey's surprise diagnosis of albinism last year in the September issue of Health magazine. You can read it here: http://news.health.com/2012/08/17/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-childs-health-crisis/
It's a little strange to read it and think about all I went through when he was first diagnosed, and how amazingly well he is doing now. And I have to chuckle a bit at the irony of the article, which is all about resilience. After everything we've gone through the last few years, I'm a master.
Thanks for everyone's well wishes about my father. Dad is doing better. He is still in the hospital. We still don't know what will happen or how much time he has left, but we are determined to make the most of it.
In the meantime, I have my beautiful kids to console me. How lucky am I to be their mother?
Last Friday night, we took all three kids to the local St. Leo's fair. We went last year, but they seemed too young for the rides. This year, Teddy and Jo Jo went on a bunch, and as I watched them, Teddy's arm protectively encircled around Jo Jo, it hit me how grown up they looked. My two eldest are preschoolers.
Geoffrey wanted to go on all the rides himself. He kept running away from me and darting up to the gates, shaking them and babbling madly. He does this thing now where he races away from me, laughing, and then runs right back to me, rubbing his face against my legs and murmuring mama.
People turn to look at him, wherever he goes. I don't think it's necessarily because they realize he has albinism, but more that they marvel at his white-gold hair and creamy skin.
A woman stopped me later that evening, when Geoffrey was so overtired he was running around in circles and then clinging to my legs. "Mama, mwww, mwww," he said, blowing kisses into my calves, and the woman looked at him and sighed. "He's the spitting image of my son at that age," she said wistfully, and then, "I just dropped him off at college."
We just looked at each other. I could tell she was fighting back tears. "You must miss him," I said.
"Time goes by so fast," she said briskly. "Just enjoy every minute of him."
She's right. As much as I sit here and cry, and mourn the fact that my father will most likely never be well enough to take my two boys to their first Red Sox game, or be present at any of my kids' bar mitzvahs, I also know we have to make the most of the time he has left.
And I need to make the most of the time I have with my three little ones.