On Monday Ben goes in for a little surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and a new set of ear tubes inserted. He’s excited about all of the popsicles and juice boxes he’ll be allowed to have afterwards, but I don’t think he’s quite understanding the pain that he’ll be experiencing. And I’m glad for that, since knowing will only compound the problem by adding a few days of emotional anguish in front of the week or more of physical suffering.
Ben’s kind ENT doctor gave him a cartoonish book to help prepare him for the surgery. In the book, Doctor Lawrence and Benny’s sister Susie shrink to Lilliputian size, hop aboard a miniature spaceship, and fly into Benny’s mouth. Thus begins their T & A journey, full of exciting adventures through exotic locales such as The Tonsils! The Adenoids! The Eardrum!
The book is crammed with scintillating dialog, such as this exchange between Dr. Lawrence and Susie:
“Here we are. Can you see the fluid by Benny’s eardrum?”
“I see it, Doctor Lawrence. Wow!”
As the T & A journey draws to a close, Susie pushes the GROW button just in time, for Benny, though a little dizzy and nauseated, awakens from his “special kind of sleep” and greets all of his loved ones at his bedside.
But wait! Was it all just a dream? And whose journey was it, really? No, it couldn’t be real! Benny is just about to shrug it all off when, in a shocking narrative twist worthy of Law & Order, Dr. Lawrence hands Benny a — drumroll please — toy spaceship!
Oh, and by the way, hats off to the many consultants and contributors listed on the back cover who approved the title. It seems that while for many the T & A journey is a brief operation, for others it’s a lifelong process.