It's a nasty cold/flu. Cora hasn't eaten more than a few bites a day, and her little arm rolls are starting to shrink. My own appetite unfortunately hasn't suffered, although the rest of my symptoms are like mirrors of hers. Even our temperatures are identical today.
I took her to the doctor on Saturday morning, concerned that she still seemed to be getting worse 5 days into it. I knew it wasn't anything really serious, but it's hard sometimes to keep the worries away when it's your baby.
So far we've been lucky with her strong immune system. But the health scares we have had have been life-threatening. And even when your analytical mind knows that things aren't heading in that direction at the moment, it's hard for your heart not to go there... hard to keep that fear completely at bay.
|Daddy can still elicit those smiles...
I imagine that all parents have felt that fear at one time at least. A high fever, a surgery, a rush to the Emergency Room, an accident, or even a more insipid nightmare like cancer.... these are the things we all fear deep inside. And they are things that too many families have to face.
We've been following the story of a beautiful little girl a couple months younger than Cora who is fighting for her life in the hospital as I type. Literally thousands of people are watching and praying for this sweet baby, hoping together that her life can be spared. Another friend had a scare after her toddler took a fall last week, resulting in seizures and an ambulance ride, although thankfully her daughter is okay.
These things happen too suddenly. Too easily for anyone's comfort.
We try to push away the images of our own babies in their places, but there are moments when those fears seem like possibilities, when even the biggest love doesn't seem like enough to keep out the monsters.
A couple of days ago Cora asked me to read On the Night You Were Born. By the end, I was sobbing. My sweet girl looked up at me with concerned questioning eyes, and jumped into my arms for an embrace, arms glued around my neck and patting my back as I cried.
This kind of love feels unreal sometimes. This biggest, most intense love feels impossible to sever... yet at the same time it can feel so precarious.
And so I hold tight to my coughing, sneezing, weak little girl. She is safe for now, here in my arms. How I wish I could keep her that way.