Friday, January 13, 2012

Professor Ben Gets Sick At School (And Teaches Me a Thing Or Two)

Today's school pick-up was like every other day's pick-up: a learning experience. I learned about wood ducks, beavers, cockatoos and crows.  Sometimes I learn about dinosaurs, early humans, evolution, and video games. It's actually pretty cool.

But today there was something I would have liked to learn about but did not. While I was waiting for Benjy to come out to the car his teacher told me he'd been feeling sick at school.

"Mental or physical?" I asked, although at times it is hard to recognize the difference, as Ben often perceives psychiatric distress as somatic.

"Well, the nurse checked him out and physically, all was okay."

As expected.

Now, yesterday was a non-starter for Benjy -- he never made it to school. Anxiety and depression are creeping back -- not dramatically but a little bit. So this "illness" had me worried.

When he got in the car I asked him about it in a circumspect way.

"How was your day?"

"Good. The usual."

"Did you eat lunch?" This, Readers, is something I genuinely want to know, as he is eating less and less these days.

"Uh huh. Salad."

"What did you learn?"

"Did you know a family of beavers has been recorded as having cut down a 3-foot wide tree?"

"No, really? And I heard you were sick today." I slipped that in casually.

"Yeah. I got over it, though."

"What was it?"

I felt weird. And my hands were shaking."

"Was it anxiety?"

"Mom! Please. Do. Not. Ask. Meaboutmyselfanymore!"

End of conversation. I still don't know what went on today, or whether I'll get him back to school on Monday.

But I can only take things one day at a time (I should have that tatooed on my forehead. One Day At a Time.) Right now things are pretty good. He's showing Danny, his Therapeutic Mentor, some stuff on the computer. And I hope he's asking Danny about his college anthropology classes, like I asked him to.

Sometimes Ben forgets that other people have something to teach, too. Danny's a smart guy.

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