I had a horrible time getting to sleep last night. I don't usually have trouble sleeping. I rarely suffer from insomnia and it doesn't usually take more than 15 minutes to fall asleep. But last night, I couldn't stop thinking about this kid in my kids' school. A nine-year-old boy, 3rd grader and former classmate of j who was just diagnosed with leukemia. More specifically, Precursor-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He's already been admitted to the hospital and is undergoing chemo. There's hope he'll be going home in the next day or two. Since late last week he's undergone a myriad of blood tests, IVs, spinal taps and oral medications. It sounds like a blood transfusion is scheduled. The ordeal sounds horrible for him, his parents, his younger brother, his extended family and friends. And this is only the beginning. I've read enough novels, seen enough movies, about sick kids and their families to know this is a scary, frustrating and miserable ordeal for all of them.
Now, I don't really know this kid or his family all that well. We do move in the same circles in the same school community. Almost everyone at school knows, or at least knows of, this kid. He's got a big personality. But, my kids aren't really friends with him or his brother. I didn't even really know his dad's name until I started reading his blog - just started since the diagnosis and admission to the hospital.
So, why couldn't I sleep last night? Maybe it's because I have kids more-or-less the same ages as this kid and his brother. Maybe I can somehow imagine our family being there instead of them. Or maybe it's just 'cuz the kids are classmates or that in my volunteering at school, this kid has always seemed to make his presence known whether in the classroom, on the playground or at various other school events. Maybe it's because the teacher at school whom I love most is as much in love with this kid as she is with j&m. I don't know what it is, but it feels like all those things and so much more. Maybe it's just some kind of thing parents have that seems to connect them when someone's - anyone's - kid is sick. I don't know...
But I do know that my heart goes out to this kid and his family. That I'm praying for them all as well as the medical staff who are caring for him. That I'm not going to be able to stop thinking about him for quite some time.