Today's crisp fall weather called me away from the dishes and laundry, away from the gluten-free recipe search, the job-hunt, and the doctors' phone calls that I was waiting to receive. After watching Naomi disapear on the yellow bus, I loaded Hannah, Emma, and Toby in our van. "Where are we going, Mama?" Hannah asked. "Ere ee go-ee?" Emma echoed. "It's a surprise," I smiled. "Bye-bye," Toby said cheerily, not caring at all what the destination was, only that we were going.
For nearly an hour Toby couldn't get enough of climbing through the narrow secret passage-ways and up and down endless sets of stairs. Then he spied the picket fence that enclosed the playground, and beyond that: endless adventure. He bounded up a park bench that sat beside the fence, then on to the back of the bench, then to the top rail of the fence. I caught him as he teetered precariously over a four-foot drop, but he wasn't at all grateful for my rescue efforts. He lurched and screamed at having been denied access to the great beyond, and would no longer settle for child's play. There were no choruses of thankfulness to gild our parade back to the van.
Good news greeted me on the answering machine when we arrived home. The GI doctor's office had been able to move Hannah's biopsy up to next Thursday. This means less time for a tired, whiny, malnourished Hannah to wait until she can join Noami on a gluten-free diet for life and hopefully begin to put on some weight and regain some energy. When I told Hannah that she was going to be able to have her biopsy as soon as next week, she opened her mouth wide and with a stunned-speechlessly-happy expression collapsed to the floor in a dramatic pseudo-faint. "Um...are you excited?" I asked dryly. "Oh, Mommy, I'm soooo happy!..." she began again.
Naomi came home from school today equally cheerful. She bounded off the bus with a grin, then raced her sisters for the door, leaving them in her dust. "Wow!" she laughed, "My legs and feet have just been wanting to run and jump all day!" Inside she skipped down the two steps to the snack-stash in our garage, then leaped back up. "My!" she giggled, in apparent amazement at herself, "My legs just keep wanting to run and jump!" She downed some fruit and cashews, then dashed out the back door and ran as fast as she could to the end of the backyard. You cannot grasp the full significance of this if you don't understand that for the last year Naomi has almost always exited the bus after a day at school like a zombie. She would stare blankly, walk slowly, head straight for a snack which she'd chew absent-mindedly, and usually would talk as little as possible. She is wasted, completely empty after a full day, and only maintains composure as long as she is left alone to regain her strength. Any little break in this quiet, monotonous routine would send her into a tailspin of tantrums. (See my previous note: Willing to Try.)