Wrapped in my arms, burrowed between three blankets, two pillows and three snuggy animals, my baby felt limp in my arms. I hate seeing him like this, chest rattling, eyes gooping and ears ringing, but I also secretly love when he needs me again. Four year olds are notorious for their independence and strong will, bending only when their little bodies cannot struggle to preserve their autonomy.
With infections in both eyes and both ears, fluid creeping towards his little lungs and asthma destroying his ability to pull oxygen from the air, my little one crumpled – he needed his momma. We spent days together, with nebulizer blasting at three-hour intervals, steroids and antibiotics requiring disparate dosage schedules and little brains requiring the reassurance that everything will be all right.
Today, after a miraculous recovery thanks to quick action with his pediatrician and a newer medication (he is allergic to penicillin), Ninja tepidly returned to school, and I to my office. After three long nights of sleeping upright with him in my arms punctuated by two long days of doing nothing but keeping him happy, life suddenly returned to normal this morning. I am so grateful he is well, grateful we have health insurance and grateful that I have a job which recognizes that a child’s illness requires a mother’s absence.
Last night, as he hunkered down in my arms while listening to me sing meditative hymns in his ear, he smiled. He opened his eyes, picked up his beautiful, snot covered face, and thanked me for making him well. Someday he will thank science, thank vaccines and antibiotics, but last night he saw me as the cause of his return to wellness. Oh little Ninja, your innocence and love are a magic panacea to sleepless nights and worry.