Monday, January 26, 2004

God damn you, A. A. Milne!

As I said, the whole ALS diagnosis seems a thing of the past now (I have convinced myself of this based on the EMG test), although I know that the appointment on Wednesday could make it a Thing All Too Real quite suddenly. So there I was tonight reading the last chapter in The House at Pooh Corner to my son, at his bedtime. And this is the chapter where Christopher Robin is going away (presumably to boarding school or school of some kind, or just maybe growing older), but there are strong overtones of death. Death of Innocence, whatever. All you English major types pack up your things and clear out (I won't have your kind here!). Basically, it is a sad and ambiguous chapter. I remember as a child being somewhat disturbed when it was read to me, because it seemed to me that Christopher Robin was dying. Anyway. Anyway, anyway, I figured, as I was reading to my son, that this will be no problem because I can surf right over the emotions and keep myself together. Wrong. I wind up unable to read and he's asking me why, and I tell him the chapter is sad, and I will read it to him tomorrow. He says that's OK, you don't have to be sad ... read it to me now. I try it a couple of times and can't do it. I wind up crying in front of my son. He's hugging me to make me feel better. Laughing a little and trying to cheer me up. He hugged me and reminded me that he hugged me last time. He means when I dropped the baby about nine months ago. Tonight I wasn't sobbing, not a total breakdown like that day after lifting weights, but just basically unable to read the book. I could barely sing him his night-night song. Again, those of you with lectures about how it is healthy to cry in front of your kids, pack your bags and get out (along with the English majors!). Yes, I know it's healthy, and yes I think he handled it OK (because he had some reasonable explanation: The chapter is sad). Still, it must have freaked him out on some level. A book is a book is a book. Why would Daddy fall apart unless ... unless ... unless there is something else going on ... something like (insert worst childhood fear here).

We had a good run today. Maybe I am just physically tired? I had plenty to eat. Not sure what that was. Reverberations?

Basically, I believe that the last thing I want to do is dump worry on my kids when they are 4 and 1. I would rate tonight's performance as a C-. Coming home sobbing from the gym, and having my son see me, would have been an F.

God damn you, A. A. Milne!

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