Despite my title, I generally enjoy teaching my students about literary devices. I usually try to make it as fun as possible, involving the class in made up stories to teach various parts of literature. And if they pay attention, it helps them to discover nuances in literature where the author gives them a hint about what might happen next or says something funny or tells you something the characters don't know.
If they were reading a book about my life, I would've expected them to pick up on me stating that Tommy had not had a seizure since November was clearly foreshadowing and that obviously, he was going to have another seizure. He did, of course, that very night. I should have know it was coming. All the signs were there; yet, the past six--almost seven we were so close--months taught me to let the signs go. And if this was a book, my life, there'd be an omniscient narrator and you would've known what I was thinking Friday morning but too afraid to write, Maybe those seizures last fall were a fluke, perhaps he's outgrown them already. I am trying really hard to not let the old fears creep back into my mind. I stopped myself from setting up the video monitor again, because I can't go back to fear ruling. I can't. I won't.
Every year in August, we get a stack of medical notices from the nurse, letting us know of any students who have health-related issues. Typically, I have a handful of students with inhalers, students who take medicine for ADD, every now and then I have a few diabetics, but three years ago, I had an epileptic student. My first and only. I remember reading his medical info sheet and feeling a little unsettled, a little freaked out at the thought of a child who could potentially have a seizure in my class. It seemed so scary, you know, and what would I do? I had no idea that three years later, I'd be sitting in a hospital room crying because this student's mom reached out to me via Facebook after hearing about Tommy's seizures and the goodness and twists of fate that life hands you are so outrageously beautiful in their sadness, sometimes.
More than anything, Friday made me come to terms with the idea that this might not be something that he's going to outgrow, at least not any time soon. Still, we're blessed. Some children have more seizures in one day than he's had in his entire life. Some children have seizures that damage them irreparably. Aside from being the most troublesome child I've ever met, he's perfect in every way. I can't stop his seizures, but I can stop my fear.
(Still, though, universe, if you could not laugh at me like this? That'd be great.)