My eldest son is my partner in crime, and we go everywhere together. We go to ice cream shops when the wife isn’t around. We do monthly movies, some of which are mind numbingly boring. I’m calling you out, “Dory.” Either way, the kid loves them. Right now, we do errands as ninjas or pirates, occupations whose main focus is apparently attaining as many Costco samples as possible. But we do boring stuff as well; I often take him with me to the pharmacy.
With five different medications, I experience the unfortunate consequence of having to fill my prescriptions at different times during the month. That’s a lot of visits to the pharmacy, with a lot of bottles coming home. It’s a little disheartening to check in and watch the pharmacy tech try to scroll through all your medications in order to find the one you’re trying to refill. Anyhow, it is what it is.
Merrick’s pretty familiar with a few Kaiser locations; I take him along when I’m picking up my medication. He’s knows we’re at a hospital, where the doctors treat the sick. And he’s starting to put things together. Merrick knows his dad needs to take medicine because he isn’t well. He understands and remembers that his father has always taken medicine. His father has never not been sick. And now, he’s starting to ask why.
I do my best to explain that I’m just taking vitamins because dad doesn’t have enough vitamins in his body. However, this feels somewhat dishonest. Sooner or later he’s going to know what I am and what I have. I fear that day with all my being. How do I tell my child that I am bipolar? How will he trust in me if he sees the cracks of mania, the dips of the depression? When will I stop being his hero? Will he blame me for my failings? Will he forgive me? And is my love enough?
These are the things I think about during those long drives on the freeway. I think about how he will remember these and the coming years. I often beg the universe to let him know my strengths before my weaknesses. I hope to be a hero, before I am human. My greatest wish is to be a good father. And I hope that that’s what I am more days than not.