Friday 27 September 2013


The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him WILD THING and Max said, I'LL EAT YOU UP so he was sent to bed without eating anything.

That very night in Max's room a forest grew and grew and grew until the ceiling hung with vines... and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to the place where the wild things are...

I bought this book for my nephew Rafael long before he was ready and when he arrived this autumn, I still wasn't sure, but almost the first words he spoke to any of us were, "I'm goin' EAT You All Up!" And Max was already in Raf and Raf was Max.
But Max is in me too. The place of the Wild Things is the place I entered the night after my eye operation. It took over three hours and when I woke, my body was doing something very strange.

'And now', cried Max, 'let the Wild Rumpus start!'

I have a theory about why I reacted so wildly post waking from anaesthesia. Our brain doesn't completely shut down during anaesthesia, even if the CNS is paralysed, and it felt as though I was simply continuing my rumpus through those hours of desperately trying to get away from the pain. I was almost jack knifing off the bed, spasming every few seconds, then minutes, then longer passages. When my speech was less slurred I requested the lovely Irish nurse minding me to keep me in the recovery room so Mum wouldn't have to worry about this as well. Karen made me laugh by teasing me and calling me Nemo, because I was flapping about so.

Pain is an animal and I became Queen of the Wild Things that night. With nothing to numb the localised site of surgery, I was facing down something with sharp and terrible claws minute after minute for almost a year until it was morning and I saw the surgeon again and he numbed my eye for a brief, beautiful few seconds.

'Now stop!' Max said, and sent the Wild Things off to bed without their supper and Max, the King of all the Wild Things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all. Then from all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat. So he gave up being King of Where The Wild Things Are...
I am still sailing in the boat of pain, but feeling grateful for every day spent with the people who love me best of all and keep my supper hot and make me cups of tea and most of all, for the memory of a small figure with curly hair and a wild look in his eye as he commands or cajoles, 'Aunty Shai, tell me 'tory!' and then when I begin with 'Once upon a time', tucking himself neatly into my lap with a sigh and the occasional tap tap of his fingers against my skin keeping time to the rhythm of a tale spun just for him.


Ruth said...

Precious, even in pain. Big, gentle hugs for you. I am glad you're in good hands. Heal well. <3

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Shaista, you are amazing. Astounding. Look at this Feast of Love from a girl in so much pain. I am glad you have the joy of Raffi in your world. And he is SO LUCKY to have you. My eye aches in sympathy with yours. Heal up, kiddo..........each day it will get a little better.......I rest easy, knowing you are so well loved by your wonderful family that your every need will be attended to even before you wish it.

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

The sight of your red eye has made me cry. No No No, dear God, please no more wild Things for Shai.....just the story for the boy.

big sister

Photo Caramelo said...

Hello! Hello! So nice to visit you here. I am back in the blog world with a simple photography blog.
You are welcome anytime!

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