I received the best performance review. August blurted out over dinner, "You are the perfect Mommy." This was followed by, "You are so sweet to me." I felt my face becoming warm and tears building as I humbly accepted her sweet comments. They came after a difficult week.
Before August was born I thought of how squeamish I was and wondered how that would change once she arrived. After she was born I didn't seem to have a problem at all. Then again, I never needed a burping cloth, she never had an upset stomach. We were both slightly traumatized last Wednesday morning when she became unexpectedly and quite violently ill. She kept turning towards me, her arms outstretched reaching for me as she became covered in the previous night's dinner. I tried so hard to comfort her but my body was not allowing my heart to supersede old reactions. As I wretched I felt I had failed my child in the most ridiculous way.
Once I steadied myself and washed her up, we sat on the couch. I apologized for not holding her when she was scared, confused and needed me the most. Dwelling on failure just didn't happen. I held her close and began to go over foods she had eaten, places we had been, people we had been in contact with wondering if fever and other symptoms would set in. As I quickly visited all possible scenarios in my head, she started to panic and we headed for the bathroom again. This time I managed myself better and was able to be more comforting and useful to her. I wanted to be "all Mommy" for her, the woman who had labored thirty six hours not the twenty year old who became nauseated with smells on the bus.
She didn't like the trip to the pediatrician and fell asleep at her appointment. I had so many questions because there was only one symptom. I was told it was nothing more than a bug. There was the danger of dehydration and keeping up with fluids. The sick days were spent watching shows, reading books, electrolytes, broths and ginger water. She told me she was too sick to dance when I turned the radio on. There was too much noise in my head. She woke up Saturday morning with a smile on her face and said, "I feel better, I feel better, Mommy." I really saw sunshine in her eyes. Now that we have had this experience, it feels like we both have moved up a level in childhood and motherhood.