I had egg on my face when I saw his Heimlich maneuver costume. I was so embarrassed to fill his Halloween bucket with tears instead of Cry Baby bubblegum. The hugging from behind reminded me of my son the most. Him running off in public and me having to chase after him and pick him up so he won’t do it again. Him getting affectionately squeezed when he answered correctly to the ‘Guess Who’ game despite my pathetic efforts of disguising my voice. Wait! The dangling legs reminded me of my son the most. Him on his Spider-Man potty seat on the toilet. Him having them between the bars of the baby crib. Him bouncing around in his chair while I’m trying to get him to eat his food separately instead of as a KFC Famous Bowl.
Now here I am sitting on the dock of the bay, feet not touching the water, thinking how those abdominal thrusts only made the situation worse. What was I suppose to do, watch my child grasp for air until the pair of medics arrived? Notice I said a pair of medics instead of paramedics; I had to call twice because the first ambulance must have stopped at one too many red-lights. Or were they traveling at such a high rate of speed the EMT’s crashed into another car that ejected them on top of a traffic light pole three-quarters of a mile? Pffft. I’m not waiting on someone who didn’t give birth to this child to come save him. This is my baby! When he didn’t expel whatever it was that was choking him I jumped in my Aston Martin over my other brand cars; I wanted to see what the wings in its logo was really about. When the doctor came back in the waiting room his body language said it all, “I’m sorry.” My body language replied, “Not as sorry as you will be if you don’t get back in there and save my baby.”
Next thing I remember is waking up handcuffed to a hospital bed. I must have died and went to heaven for a few hours to play video games with my little man one last time. I say one last time because I’m going to hell for being a bad parent. All of this could have been prevented. I shouldn’t have homeschooled my son, sheltering him. I should’ve let him be around other kids. He would have made real friends and wouldn’t have felt the need to create an imaginary friend, who would eventually kill him. I guess I shouldn’t say imaginary when the doctor, the nurses, and I can see the friend resting on my son’s windpipe.
Truth is, though, I always saw him. We called it Airhead. We gassed its friends if one got too sharp. If it could talk its voice would squeak like a gym shoe. Speaking of shoes, its knot helped my son learn how to tie his. He was smooth. Multiracial. Had a string for a neck. Liked to fly. Liked to party. Could mold into any animal, different sizes and shapes. And it’s this very quality that helped it to conform to my son’s trachea, blocking the airway and his ability to breathe.
That is why I put band aids on balloons.