Saturday, May 3, 2008

Long Night's Journey Into Day

Thing 1 has been suffering: fever, and a cough so hard it can make him throw up. Poor little guy did so in the middle of his nap yesterday, so I had to give him a bath. Then he did so again at 5 a.m. this morning. These past few nights he's been up at one or two, then again before sunrise. There's been a trip to the doctor, the introduction of new medicine -- with a mask, nebulizer and chamber to breathe into -- and lots of generally icky feeling moments.

No matter how hard a slog it is to get through the nights -- and it's a slog for sure -- I just wanna wrap him up in love and make it all better. It breaks my heart that I can't. I wonder how many nights I had like this when I was a kid, and my heart goes out to my late parents, who surely had to deal with some of the same. This is how parenthood can soften you, in a good way.

But I'm amazed at my own tenderness, given that just a few days ago, Thing 1 was being impossible. His terrible-threes seem to have been peaking of late, fits aplenty, with kicking and whining and a million surly "I don't want to's". As a result, I've been furious at him. Furious to a point of fury that you can get to only with someone you love.

I simply can't get over how my feelings can go from teeth-gritting anger to heart-melting tenderness toward the same small, 30-plus-pound being.

Yesterday when I walked into his room and found him covered in throw-up, he gave me the saddest look, and then said, simply, "You take care of me."

At moments like that, I know what I'm here for.

Later, I dried his hair and carried him back to his room from the bathtub, snug in a towel, all wrapped up like a human cannoli. He still asks me to carry him using the wrong pronoun. He says, "I carry you" when he wants me to carry him.

But in some ways, he's right. By allowing me to love him, he's carrying me.

I just hope the lil' guy feels better soon.


Unknown said...

I'm sooo sorry to hear Jacob is sick. I really hope he feels better soon. Please give him a hug for me.

Anonymous said...

Alyssa -- will do, you are so sweet!