One side of the couch had become well worn. Nestled within the indent on the cushions was the prone body of young boy who, after just having being rendered tonsil-less, kept vigil in front of the TV hoping that the pain would subside. Lightening McQueen and Curious George kept him company. He wanted nobody else. His mom sat by his side during the week. His dad replaced her on the weekend. He hardly acknowledged their existence. They both encouraged the young boy to drink water. Or juice. Or chocolate milk. Anything. But even the allure of sugar was not strong enough to overcome the pain that came with moving the liquid past his throat. There were many tears and many sleepless nights. This was, without a doubt, the worst thing that had ever happened to the boy in his young life.
It all started so well. His father had bought him a book. It was a pleasant little story about a girl losing her tonsils. She received a snow cone maker, presents and copious amounts of ice cream. Her relentless optimism was contagious. The book not only soothed the boy, but it made him excited. His face lit up with joy when he learned that soon he too would be having an operation. This excitement remained while he was in the hospital waiting room. It was present when he drank his “happy juice”. It lingered until the minute when he woke up after the surgery, fuzzy and disoriented from the drugs that had put him to sleep. It was at that exact moment that the torture had begun.
To say it wasn’t easy would be underselling the next ten days. The narcotic prescribed to keep the boy’s pain at bay had a foul taste and combined with the fact that swallowing felt like a dagger of fire that was being doused with a bucket of razorblades, administering it was an impossible task. At some point the boy must have realized that the promise of all the ice cream you could eat was an empty one. The will to eat anything had vanished along with his tonsils. If he was mad at his parents, it did not show. His dad managed to coax him to eat a few bites of Jell-O, which was just enough to stave off dehydration. But even this was a struggle.
Realistically, the boy’s parents knew that his agony would end, and so too would end their servitude to a boy who was to weak and in too much pain to be anything more than an immobile fixture on the couch. But those ten days felt epic in length. Dark circles formed under all of their eyes. The boy’s mother spent most nights on the trundle bed in the boy’s room, sleeping .
Realistically, the boy’s parents knew that his agony would end, and so too would end their servitude to a boy who was to weak and in too much pain to be anything more than an immobile fixture on the couch. But those ten days felt epic in length. Dark circles formed under all of their eyes. The boy’s mother spent most nights on the trundle bed in the boy’s room, sleepingfitfully
Finally, the tenth day arrived and as promised, the boy was almost back to his usual state. Now came the task of de-programming the child, who had started to grow accustomed to a life of all the TV and all of the sweets one could consume. Slowly, steadily, he began to spend less time on the couch. And the recently vacated indent in the cushions started to return to normal.