Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Little Man's Triumphant Departure

The social elite are so caught up in making an entrance that few know the finesse required of a good exit. Little Man has mastered the classy farewell. On Sunday, His Sweet Self incoherently entered the hospital via his mother's arms and the ER entrance. Two days later he left as the Grand Marshal of his own checkout parade.

The parade was led by a bedraggled father figure, whom we'll call The Strong Sleepy One, who had spent the past two nights on watch in LM's suite. The Strong Sleepy One was bearing in one arm some of the many toys that had arrived as gifts or mysteriously apparated in the room. On the other arm he bore the bulky throne of a tiny cheerio encrusted princess who had been allowed a brief visit in her brother's room. Miss Cheerio emitted squeaks of elation every time Little Man looked her way, and mumbles of satisfaction when a Cheerio made it into her mouth.

Next in the procession was the Grand Marshal himself. Little Man's sartorial choices caused oohs and ahs down every hall of the parade route. He wore light-up sneakers, a basketball uniform, a very bulky coat (diagnosis was pneumonia - I'm not letting him outside without a parka until July), and a black fireman's helmet with neck flap and face shield. In his arms was his trusted companion, Ted the Bear, who was dressed for the occasion as Spiderman.

Bringing up the rear was the shabbily dressed security detail, The Protector, holding all the hospital detritus that didn't seem to make it on The Strong Sleepy One's first two trips to the car. In spite of her rumpled bargain bin clothing and bird's nest evocative hairdo, The Protector was beaming like an Oscar winner.

The Grand Marshall bid farewell to his room, "Thanks for making me well!"; the hallway fish tank, "Bye bye, fishies!"; his adorable nurse Alyson, "See ya', Alice!"; and gave a parting speech for a wee wizened gal in volunteer pinks, two people on their way to an appointment, and a member of the janitorial staff. Transcript follows.

"Mama, I was in this hospital a loooooong time. You and my sister missed me a whole lot, didn't you? I'm really strong. Aren't you glad I'm coming home? Oooh, look. More fishies!"

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