The floor measures four orange tiles wide by six tiles long, not counting the cream and white squares interspersed in an attempt to bring cheer to the room The wailing infant cries pierce through the walls on regular intervals. The parents pace the hallways, anxious looks on their faces. Babies rest in cribs and toddlers play with sliding blocks in the waiting room. The nurses wear pastel scrubs and ponytails. But this hospital is different- very different- from the one we lived in fourteen years and eleven months ago.
Today, instead of watching his tiny body prone in a pediatric intensive care warming bed, all five pounds of him hooked up to breathing monitors, on this day his long, lanky legs hit the end of the hospital bed. The IV tube drips fluids and morphine instead of antibiotics, and today I am allowed to stay by his side in a built in bunk meant for moms. His big brown eyes, a bit dulled by medication, smile when he sees me. “I love you, Mom,” he says, and I smile back and kiss his forehead, gingerly navigating the splinted leg carefully propped up at the end of the bed.
Fourteen years ago, 115 pounds lighter and inches and inches smaller, he opened his eyes and stole my heart. I surrendered all my love to him, and in that moment promised to protect him, to care for him, and to always be the one he could count on.
Fourteen years have passed in an instant, years into moments captured in my heart. But it isn’t until this moment, today, as I watch helplessly as nurses and doctors assume my role, that I simultaneously see the same little spirit in an over-sized body, the same tiny, perfect little boy trusting that I will keep my promise.
Today, and every day, I love you.
My Best July: The month of July was quiet -sometimes, WAY too quiet. My grown-up girl has spent her summer working as a ski camp counselor at her beloved Mt. Hood, Oregon. My thinks-he’s-grown-up son has been back and forth between Mt. Hood and Lake Tahoe, and when he’s actually at home his social life […]
Since I’m a school teacher, my family anticipates summer vacation in a big way. As a mom to two teens, some of our summer vacation traditions have changed over the years to adapt to growing bodies and new interests. And as one child prepares for college and another for high school, it seems like family vacation […]
Greetings from Calistoga, California! Most people think of the Napa Valley for wine, of course, but there is SO much more there than driving around doing tastings. Quaint towns such as St. Helena, Yountville, Healdsburg, Sonoma and Calistoga each offer chances for a romantic weekend spent riding bikes, walking the town, antique shopping, eating our […]
My mom lives in an old adobe cottage originally purchased by my great-grandparents. For three generations this tiny home has been the place people go to live when they’re done with the big city, or just need a change. I’ve been told that Grandma Grace loved stone houses; maybe it was their solidity that drew her […]
“Beatrice leaned into her daughters, powerless to halt another round of tears. She thought about all that had happened, all that she had done, the years of deception and betrayal and hurt. And as her daughters held her, their contact comforting and familiar, she thought of them, and of Emma and Morris, all the lives […]