An experiment means to be creative

O Glorious Sun!

J and I marveled as we walked to school yesterday morning. The sun was shining—I mean really lighting it up. Not the shadow of the sun cast from beyond or above. Not a far away dim light through grey haze. Just sun. Jonah held my hand and closed his eyes as we walked east, wanting the warmth but not quite ready for the glare.

After another weekend of boy illness (Hot dog vomit at 2 a.m., Mmmmm!), this morning’s sun is a welcome turn. In the midst of adjusting the meds I’m currently taking, and adjusting the supplements I’m taking for the side effects of those meds, my mood has tended toward the blue. Steel blue—more precisely—which I learn gets its name from the process of bluing, whereby it is protected from rust. If that’s something of what I’m undergoing, I’d be grateful because I’m doing my best to wait and hope and trust the diagnosis and prescriptions handed out by my doctor. I’m not very good at that last bit, because I don’t like feeling like a science experiment.

Jonah, on the other hand, is all about it. Science, experiments, the works. When I innocently asked on a walk home from school last week, “So what’s an experiment?” (one of those stupid questions adults ask that insult a child’s intelligence in order to get him talking), I got an earful and a revelation.

After enduring J’s irritation—“Mom! You know what an experiment is!”—he said, “An experiment means to be creative,” and launched into a vague description of something he’d done with water and dirt.

I haven’t quite grasped what that means for my current state. Chemicals are touchy. After weaning myself off the Prozac (my headaches were getting increasingly worse and more frequent, sleep patterns were terribly askew), I knew almost immediately that the middle of winter was not the best time for me to be chemically/hormonally unaided. I switched doctors (having come to the end of what my sympathetic nurse practitioner was capable of doing in this realm) but didn’t steel myself for the process I would undergo to find the best fitting chemical replacement at the best dose taken at the best time of day—best in this case meaning “most advantageous” rather than “perfect.” To be honest, I was expecting perfect. How could it be otherwise? No amount of list making—Prozac in one column, Celexa in another—can sort out the right answer. Believe me, I’ve tried.

All that to say, I’m blue. And I don’t know if it’s the winter grey or the chemical experiment my brain is undergoing or my very own conversion coating to protect whatever a soul needs protecting from when it’s in the midst of a transformation. Let’s say it’s a cocktail of all three, shaken, with a shot of the hard-to-make-out. It’s that shot that gives me hope.

I see Jonah with a jar of water. I watch him pour in a paper cup full of dirt. It takes a couple of tries to get the tracks on the jar to line up with tracks on the inside of the lid. He doesn’t get it sealed the first time. When he starts shaking, muddy waters run down the side of the jar. “O Sorry!” he exclaims. Someone helps him screw it down straighter and tighter. He starts to shake again, happy with the mud he’s making. He finally sets down the jar. Waiting is hard. He jigs around, unable to be still. I am waiting with him.

[The picture below has nothing to do with anything, except joy. Which is reason enough.]

flying leap

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