Is Santa real? my friend’s 6 year old daughter asked her. Does a man really come to our house and leave presents? My friend wasn’t prepared for this question so soon. Torn between not wanting to lie to her daughter and wanting to preserve her childhood a little longer… she took a deep breath and tried to find the right words to say. Then her daughter asked, Is magic real? My friend was able to answer this with certainty – Yes, sweetheart, magic is real! There are so many amazing things that happen that are most certainly magical. And this time of year is all about believing in magic and things you cannot see. (I still think it’s magical when the house is quiet and children are sleeping.)
We so badly need some magic here. Our panda bear has been in a flare since he got some kind of infection at the end of October. He was given antibiotics for only 5 days. He took the first dose in the evening and by morning it was a complete transformation. When he woke up he was the happy, delightful child we miss so much. (When I look at these baby pictures of him and remember how he was before PANDAS, it makes my heart shatter.) Sadly, this transformation didn’t last long and his OCD, rage, emotional outbursts and other PANDAS symptoms got progressively worse. We are all really struggling. We contacted his PANDAS Doctor and she started him on a different antibiotic. So far we haven’t seen any improvement with this one, but she will switch to a different antibiotic if there isn’t any change soon.
Our son has always done so well holding it together at school, almost frustratingly so. I am really grateful that he does so well at school, but it’s hard because for the most part teachers have always said how wonderful he is. They don’t see his symptoms, except for a bit of OCD. So yesterday I asked his teacher how he has been for the past few weeks and it surprised me that she has actually noticed a change in his behaviour: he’s been incredibly slow to do anything, annoying kids he likes, and even swearing one day. Which he doesn’t even really do at home. When I asked him about the swearing he said it was because another kid had scratched a chunk of skin out of his hand and then he started to cry. Yep, we need some Big magic here.
Today, after my friend had told me her story about believing in magic, we were standing in our favourite bookstore trying to buy Christmas gifts discreetly while our youngest daughters played with the toys and trinkets. I love seeing my 3 year old mother my friend’s one year old – they obviously truly care about, and adore, each other. We watched my friend’s daughter totter over to another little girl and give her the toy she was playing with. The other girl reached out and hugged her. And then it was like they were speaking their own language using their hands and it reminded me of when we taught our babies sign language. Witnessing this beautiful human connection between two tiny little strangers was amazing. I nudged my friend and whispered “This is magic!” Magic can be BIG or it can be small but it’s pretty miraculous to watch if you are open to it and magic often happens when you’re not even looking for it.
I realize that we so badly need Big magic, but I don’t want to miss out on the small magical things that are happening each day. Like the time our friend’s 9 year old daughter reached for my hand and held it when our two families were out for a walk. At first I thought maybe it was because she thought I was her mom since we have been mistaken for each other sometimes, but then she turned and spoke to her mother. When children show affection that isn’t prompted by adults it is truly magical. It makes my heart swell that this same little girl thinks I’m so calm under pressure and I can fix any problem. How sweet. I only wish it transferred to my own problems. But it’s so much easier to be calm when you’re helping other people with their problems, when you’re on the outside. She has such a beautiful and sensitive soul. I’m pretty sure she and I are kindred spirits.
When we are on the sinking ship called “A PANDAS/PANS Flare” just trying not to drown, and we’re so very tired from treading water, it’s very easy to miss the small ways magic makes itself known in our lives because we’re so busy just surviving and hoping and waiting for Big magic.
For the past few days I have been feeling so terribly sad, alone, and hopeless, wondering how long can this nightmare go on? But today, when I needed it most, I was reminded that I do believe in magic. Do you?
Lots of love xo