Yes. Hurricane plants.
Do you know the ones I mean? When a storm’s coming, a hurricane plant turns itself inside out so all that’s visible are the white undersides of the leaves. It’s disconcerting, foreboding, even, to feel the wind and see the purple-black sky and watch those plants curl over themselves, tucking under that shell. Google says they’re philodendron, but I thought they were hibiscus or some kind of palm. I should ask my mother. She would know.
Dane’s been sick for two weeks with no sign of abatement. His illness is changing, sure, but we’re progressing from one kind of bad to another, instead of into varying shades of better. His issue is not life-threatening. It’s not chronic, nor will it scar him or change his health outcome in any way. He has a nasty, untreatable virus that’s having some nasty aftereffects, and by the time we go to the beach in July, the whole episode will be a blip on the screen of an otherwise sunny spring. But. BUT.
I’m crouching over him anyway. I’m in the right now, and I’m tired and worried and there’s nothing I can do to help. We just have to have patience, which, as you may imagine, isn’t in my wheelhouse. My grandfather wasn’t the only rustic frontier-independent Texan in my family. You get in the way of my child, and like any good parent, I will move you. Only you can’t move a virus. Reason it off a ledge. Threaten it with a broken beer bottle (Stay green, Ponyboy. Stay green.). You can’t make a doctor, or drug, or your mother or husband, fix something when the only solution is time. And most importantly, I can’t fix him. Instead, I’m curled over him, not because I’m mother of the year or because I reasoned out the answer in a spreadsheet, but because it’s the only thing I know how to do. I feel like a failure. Helpless. And let me be clear. That helplessness? I HATE IT.
I’m not asking for sympathy. I know there’s much, much worse out there, and there are much stronger people who deal with those problems. Dane’s virus will pass and he’ll be back to picking up earthworms and rushing toward the future at lightspeed, and I’ll flip over some leaves and signal the bartender for another drink. But for now, I’ve tucked this baby under me and we’re just waiting, and praying, for the weather to pass.