When I was small we lived in Cape Town in South Africa. At the weekends, we would often go to the beach to surf. This wasn't the stand on a malibou board kind of surfing but a much more modest endeavour. I loved the thrill of those exhilarating waves. It was a game that I played well, considering that I was not as streamlined as torpedo but bore a closer resemblance to a little beach ball. I need to revive those skills if we are to have any hope of reaching solid ground. The shifting plates we exist on are turning to quicksand.
With any medication, timing can be an important factor. Many medicines come with lengthy warnings. Focalin comes with a whole manual. For my son, if the pill hits an empty stomach, the result it torture, mental anguish with a body and mind possessed.
This, as my American pals would say, is a 'no brainer.' You choose. A monosyllabic happy discombobulated child, or a child with the power of speech that is tormented? We're biased of course. We're used to the monosyllabic happy. We are terrified by the torture. It's all too true, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
The glimpse of the possibilities is intoxicating, but the price is far too high.
He writhes on the sofa with chattering teeth. His fingernails pinch, scratch and rake his skin. Small electric currents spasm through his entire body. Spittle collects on his taught lips as he clenches his teeth. His jaw jerks to one side and then the other. His hands flutter over his face open palmed. He is incapable of speech. As he grinds his teeth the vibrations reverberate through my rib cage. His fingers clench and unclench without a pattern. His entire body is a whiplash to turn over, a writhing eel, landed and floundering. He roams the surface area of the sofa like a cat circling for just the right spot. I am beneath him, hopeless, helpless and useless. My only purpose is the somewhat dubious benefit of my physical presence.
Too many neurons are firing at the same time. All we can do is ride out the electric storm and hope that we land safely, eventually.
His brother appears at our side, “what it is?”
“It's the pill dear. He's not feeling very well.” I hope my understatement curbs his qualms as he watches he big brother squirm.
He quotes, of course, from a Pokemon reference. The eerie accuracy gives me the shivers but it's none the less valid –