A few mornings ago, my husband was taking a shower and so didn’t hear May have a seizure. She cries in a thin and tremulous voice, and it is filled with terror. She still has at least one seizure like this a day, which is much better than it used to be.
My husband was letting me sleep in, so I didn’t hear it either. Very softly, there was a knock at my door. “Mama?” a little voice said. “May-May’s crying.” I rushed out and held her in time to comfort her.
Later that morning, Ieuan made himself shake. Just like May, his arms went rigid and his fingers wide. He made a crying, tremulous sound. He stopped, then started again. “You don’t need to do that, honey,” I said gathering him to me. “You are fine. May gets upset like that, but you don’t have to.”
Ieuan knows something is wrong with May. He wants to comfort her. He brings her toys, her bottle and other things he knows she likes – but May can’t hold them or use them without assistance. The other day I found him in the living room feeding her a bottle as she sat in her chair.
I find this both sweet and unsettling. He is old enough to know something is up, but not old enough to make sense of it. That will come though. We will walk a fine line throughout his childhood of allowing him to care about her and not asking him to take care of her. I used to think I wouldn’t have him help at all, to preserve his childhood. But he loves May, and I don’t think he can help but want to take part.