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Lion' While Under The Influence

Parenting is such a trip isn't it you guys?
There are so many overwhelming facts and issues that even the longest book on earth would still be too short. And that is for normal kids. Throw in a congenital disorder or two and you will have to start quantifying its measure in light years. 
How can a mom's brain deal with all that data? So far the answer has been zealously guarded by moms across the globe, but I'm here to spill the beans...are you ready? The answer is: they can't. Brains with their almost limitless neuron firing capabilities, facts recall and computations, still suffers dramatically when compared to the unplumbed depths of the heart. This feels even more apropos to me because of the whole A.I. boom in technology; the blurring of lines between humans and machines, human flesh and robotic wires. What makes a human really human? Is it our grey matter? I know the little brain of metal and glass I carry in my pocket is a better brain than the one I carry in my head. Leo was supposedly born without a brain at all, and yet I knew, with my whole being, brain-heart-soul and everything in between that he was as human as human can get. And though you all know the story of how we went on a journey with him to the Emerald City to get him a brain and how after all our adventures we found out that he had one all along, it did not diminish my belief one whit of where our humanity truly resides and how it has nothing to do with our brains at all.
Most moms may look like their brain is on a constant neuron stimulator, but in reality the stimulator is in our hearts.

Moms do crazy stuff for their kids. We have a robin's nest on an outdoor light fixture and other than providing hours of entertainment to my eight year old, it also served to highlight the fact that one doesn't need much of a brain to be a good mother. Mama BirdBrain Robin has been so fierce in protecting her young that we have had to use the back entrance for weeks now. I suited up the other day in an attempt to right the slowly tilting nest and barely had enough time to gently push it back into place before I had to flee for my life. She had come at me with beak clacking and heading straight for my eyes, and I ducked back into the house after just barely missing her vengeful beak, with sweaty palms and pulse racing. I'm not kidding, she is totally terrifying. 

Nika took this pic of the newly hatched chicks.

Anyway this post isn't as much as a belated Mother's day salute, though it is that in part, but as always, it is about the Lion man.

Leo has been seizure-free now for, dare I say it.... for over nine months! This is pretty awesome, and a very good indicator that perhaps he may outgrow the disorder once and for all, but that is a thought I am always afraid to really engage in, because I don't want to be horribly disappointed and unprepared if it doesn't come true. Leo's meds have become my security blanket. Crazy huh? Anyway regardless that Leo's meds have enabled me to live a fairly normal life - that is dropping Leo off at school or leaving him with a babysitter without glueing my phone to my ear and waiting like a runner at the starting line for THE PHONE CALL, I can, more or less, kick back, steal some sips from my hubby's beer and exhale once in a while. People probably think that I can do this because I'm a super cool laid back mom, but I confess it is because I have sold my soul and put all my trust into those little pills and liquids to keep my son from diving off the deep end into a pool teeming with seizure sharks. So when I started the wean off Keppra a while back, I was, I'm finding now, totally faking the compliance and competence. Because this week, or actually just this afternoon, I've realized that it's not just me who is finding it hard to say goodbye to the meds, it's also hard for Leo's body. No, no, he's not having seizures - at least I don't think he is - but he is having what I think, with my brain AND heart is withdrawal symptoms from the Keppra. And, it's my fault. Because I got too comfortable with something that can harm, just as much as it can heal.

Dang it all to heck. I feel pretty dumb for forgetting, for downplaying, maybe even for some good old fashioned in-denial about the whole chemical, mind altering brain drugs Lil' Lion man has been on now for pretty much his whole life. We all have a casual relationship to drugs these days: take a pill for that, take something for that, and so we forget about the ripple effect that any intervention and medicine will have. 
Why must we hurt to heal? Why can a knife save a life and then take one away? I have in the past, always comforted myself with the knowledge that Leo taking these drugs are a lesser evil than the seizure itself, but I think now that the method of excusing lesser evils is a slippery slope into excusing greater and bigger evils until anything goes. In Leo's case? I am a bird-brain mama who is ready to peck the eyes out of anyone and anything, regardless of size and motive who looks like a potential threat. 
So you can only imagine what I felt today when on a whim I read up on Keppra withdrawal and realized, like a two by four between the ears that all of this week's strange stuff going on with Leo exactly matched the symptoms experienced by hundreds of other people trying to get off Keppra too quickly... Bird-brained mama indeed. 

Anyway even moms can't always know best right?
I bumped Leo's med back up a bit tonight and by the time he went to bed he seemed more normal already. 
What makes a human? It's simple really. It's not in the shape of our brains, and it's not in the function of our hearts, and it's not that we make mistakes...We are human because we can trust and believe and hope, and in that action we can lift up our hearts like sweet incense rising to the sky and transforming it into something so beautiful that we can't even describe it, though when we try to, we usually call it love. 


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