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.
The way a summer comes to an end...I passed the swimming pool this afternoon as dark clouds rolled over the sun and the wind kicked up a flurry of dried leaves and dead bugs. This week, we skipped our late morning swims because the water has been uncomfortably chilly. We put it off for later in the day but instead have found ourselves settling into a nest of pillows on my bed to read storybooks or watched some newly discovered Miffy cartoons. From one week to the next things are different, the days are changing. Summer for us is over,
I've noticed that August has started speaking of sweaters and jackets for two weeks now and wanting to go outside dressed cozy. It's still quite,quite warm but I find what her internal clock is telling her very interesting. For me, a change in seasons is marked by the way nostalgic thoughts build and make their way into my days. I no longer dwell with them, sending them off because I am happily at work creating future nostalgic thoughts.
A quick trip to the tall pines of east Texas brought some pine cone hunting. We gathered a small bag to use in the coming months. While I am still not ready to make mole, drink Mexican hot chocolate or start baking yet, I have picked up the needles to knit August a new sweater. Things are winding down.