"You are getting sick. I can see it in your eyes." I remember my grandma always telling me these words. I could never see what she meant, until now.
I can see it in his eyes. Glassy. Watery. Not full of life the way they usually are. His eyelids are puffy. He looks tired.
I should have known, I think. He was coughing in his sleep last night. He didn't sleep well. He was restless. We were both restless. I was annoyed that he wouldn't go to bed. Now it all makes sense. I feel terrible I got so upset. He must be miserable.
He clings to me. He wants me to hold him. He has a fever.
We don't get sick very often. Hand washing. Eating at home. Germ diligence. I'm thankful for Sid the Science Kid's recent episode about germs...Sid always explains science better to my kid than I can...ironic, considering I was a science teacher. Maybe my son will want to be more patient washing his hands...I'm hopeful...even just for a moment.
The fever. It's higher than usual. I rub his back. I feel his head. He cuddles in under my arm, silent and still. Definitely not his usual self.
He asks to watch a cartoon. Shaun the Sheep is our new favorite, and we will both laugh.
Season two on Netflix. Each episode provides relief...from his watery eyes, sore throat, fatigue...from my worries for him...my helplessness in making him feel any better.
We trudge through the day. Bouts of energy lead to trains and track strewn across the living room floor. Optimism that perhaps it might be a one day thing, soon leads to worry. The fever is still high. He is more lethargic than before. When should I take him to the doctor? What if this is really a bad one? I rest assured knowing that when we need to go, I'll know...I hope.
A second dose of medicine leaves him sleeping, on his tummy, one arm hanging off the side of the couch, the other arm crumpled under his body. He is snoring and drooling. He seems content, finally. We leave him resting here until we go into bed for the night.
In the middle of the night, he wakes, coughing, trying to catch his breath. I pick him up quickly. Holding him, I tell him to breathe. I worry. His fever is still high. His arms fall limp against my chest. He wimpers, trying to fall back asleep, trying to stay awake. He obviously doesn't feel good, what can I do?
I hold him.
I rock him back and forth.
I hug him.
I reassure him that he will feel a little better tomorrow.
I tell him I love him.
In that moment, I realize, how grateful I am, to be his mommy. And, despite my growing fever and sore throat, I know this love, this moment, is making us both feel just a little bit better.