Today we came full circle and Oscar finally had a surgery that he was supposed to have before he was diagnosed with Leukemia. Naturally, he didn't want to go to hospital and none of us wanted to take him. Auden, in particular, did not want us all to go.
Fortunately, we have a wonderful village of people who gather around us at times like this.
Auden was happy that one of his friends was going to come over and play with him whilst we were all in hospital for the day.
Oscar smiled when one of his little friends called him to wish him luck.
And I enjoyed the words of encouragement that came my way as well.
Plus, we came home to a cooked meal, a happy Auden, a cup of tea with some special people and some smiley face biscuits (Oscar and Auden's favourite treat from the hospital).
It was a day in which we realised how we feel so at home at hospital and sometimes so alien out here in this other world we tend to call 'real'.
It was a day when Oscar showed us what is truly real - resilience and the ability to find the silver lining in every cloud, the ability to be clear and simple about what matters and his own special skill at negotiating terms in a situation one might think was without any room for advantage.
This is how he conducted his conversation with the staff:
Anesthetist: "Oscar, we are going to put a mask on you and you will go off to sleep"
Oscar: "Well, but, see, I don't need to go to sleep. I'm not tired."
Me: "The Doctor will let you have a nice big sleep so that he can make sure it doesn't hurt."
Oscar considered this for some time (we could almost see his mind ticking over)
Oscar: "OK, I will go to sleep and then I can have an ice block." (he knows they have them in recovery)
Nurse: "Sure, we can give you an ice block as soon as you wake up."
Oscar: "Oh, ok then. But we have to get one for Auden too or he will be sad."
Mummy: "Yes sweetie we will get Auden one too."
Oscar: "Ok then."
Off we went. As he went to sleep in my arms and I lifted him onto the bed I promised the ice block.
An hour and a half later as we watched him sleeping he slowly opened half of one eye: "Where's my ice block?" he said. Then promptly sat up - ate two of them, a smiley face, drank his water and declared to the nurses that he was ready to go home. They didn't appear keen to argue.
So, off we went.....but not before Oscar negotiated one final (and third) ice block to eat on the way home. Plus a stop off to get a smiley face for Auden (we explained that the ice block would melt).
"Let's go home see Auden now Mummy."
It takes a village you know. Thanks to the village that gathered around us and accepted us for where we were at today and for bringing smiles to our little boys faces.
And thanks for checking in on us once again. All is well with us - hope all is well with you and your families.
Now, how to keep Oscar still for the next few days while he heals.....