Thursday, March 29, 2012

while they sleep

my cat is snoring. in a ball, wrapped around herself.

two visits to the er in twelve hours. i appreciate how quickly they speed things along when you walk in with a sick seven month old. appreciate the way they treat it as a priority, while still feeling guilty walking past the other adults in pain. they smile, some of them. i would, too. my baby was having trouble breathing. and i found myself catching my own breath, holding it, wondering if i could hold it in long enough to make him exhale properly. rsv. little letters that sound like travel. or a girl band that sings ballads. i've said it three times out loud today but, again, i can't remember what the 's' stands for. humidifiers and i know i won't sleep tonight. up every ten minutes checking his ribcage. listening for that raspy pull of inhale/exhale that sounds like elastic stretching across concrete. sandpaper. he is home. he is fine. we are fine.
we. are. fine.
a day later and i find myself at the end of book two of the hunger game trilogy and i think it is the perfect escape for me right now. this glimpse into a tween book that probably would have loved at that age. but maybe not. i can read it at face value as an adult, as a mother. and yet i realize that face value is such a generic term. because it really depends on whose face we're talking about. bryan and i talk about what draws me into the story and i realize i admire these female protagonists that are emotionally walled and protective and willing to do battle at the risk of being blind to everything else. that there is somehow something worthy in that. that i want to identify with. but i read them realizing that i don't get lost in the story so much as the story telling. lost in the idea that i wish i would have read these stories at twelve. instead i devoured sweet valley high. and that says something about me. i'm just not sure what.
i am up every half hour, checking his breathing. i am failing at giving my daughter adequate enough attention because all of my energy is spent. and she is throwing temper tantrums of epic proportion. i tell bryan that i wish dash could just talk so that he could tell me what was wrong when he was crying. but at the same time we realize that the ability to talk has no bearing on the matter. finn can talk and look how hard it is for her to tell us. and it's true. she can't articulate in a way that makes sense to us, why she gets so upset over the smallest, seemingly insignificant thing. because we know it isn't insignificant. not to her. but we also know that part of our job is teaching her how to navigate the mine field of emotions she carries with her. how to sidestep certain areas, how to clean up the carnage. because there are pieces of shrapnel with every blow up and they are invisible.

my cat is still snoring.


  1. RSV is no joke. I'm glad your boy is fine, but like you, I'd be up and checking for breathing...which I only just stopped doing and my girl will be 11 tomorrow. Sigh.

    And she was the child who threw epic tantrums when she was Finn's age - emotions ran high and were on display continually. She has been and always will be highly sensitive, but now at almost 11, she has learned how to navigate her outbursts and while I know when she's upset, you'd never know.

    Go gently mama. xo

  2. Best wishes to your son and I hope he is doing better.

    Yes RSV is such a simple yet potential hazard and I remember my son and that choice of yes, we must go to the hospital this time. I remember being scared.

  3. Good mother - that's what I keep thinking - what a good mother you are. So sorry to hear about RSV. Sorry and worried and glad you are home. Got to read more and catch up. Take care, friend.


use your kind words.