Friday morning, when I was frantically rubbing a cold, wet washcloth over my 22-month-old daughter’s burning skin as she sat in a tepid bath, I began to realize how fragile this whole mommy-thing is.
Yes, I am a mommy. I have the most wonderful, funny, smart, cheerful little girl in the world. But that could be taken away like that (snaps fingers), with the numbers of a digital thermometer reading 105.8 and the threat of seizures hanging around like the smell of the sour cream that’s molding in our refrigerator.
Now, three days later, we are waiting for test results from the various bodily fluids that were stolen from my child in various forms of torturous, painful ways, and while the possibilities of what could be wrong with her range from the mundane to the OMG, I am thankful.
It could be so much worse. As my husband and I wept together over the pain our little girl was in, as she begged us to save her from another needle or tube and we could not, we said a silent prayer for all the parents and children that have to endure these needles and tubes on a regular basis.
How do parents of children with long illnesses, with life-threatening medical issues, explain to their children that all the prodding and poking and pain is for their own good? How do they drag screaming toddlers into the hospital for another round of exams?
On our second day of visits to the doctor’s office and lab this weekend, she lost her mind when we walked in the door. The screams of “Mommy! Mommy! Daddy! Daddy!” and a death grip on my neck made me want to reach into my chest and pull my heart out still beating. She was in pain. She was frightened. And I couldn’t explain to her that I was trying to help her the best way I knew how.
I hope to remember every day that I am so lucky to have that little girl.