At the end of the work week, I kissed my nanny babies goodbye and headed out their front door. I’m always tickled when pondering the youngest toddler doesn’t yet know I have other babies. In her world I belong in her world, am for her and that’s that (as it should be)! She and I are connected, dating back to when she was in her mother’s womb. Where I disappear in to the abyss when I leave her home she doesn’t comprehend, but she knows, nanny will always come back. I removed the nanny hat. The weekend began.
That night, my 3-year old toddler son woke with severe abdominal pain. He laboured like, a woman in labour. Hour-long episodes doubled over, tearfully expressing, verbally requesting for his mama to “make the pain go away”. (Because mamas have the power to do - everything!) Mid-sentence, he would pass out in my arms. His breathing thick and labored. Little body so taxed. 10 minutes later would wake and the cycle begin again.
When cub’s health is compromised all else in the world zooms out. Any basic need of own self is no longer. The shift is unconscious – primal instinct presenting and doing what it does (any other mammals out there feel me?) Also a leaning into the source where guidance and healing is found.
Over the next 13 hours there was a painful pediatrician visit, taxi expedite to ER, so much waiting, IV insertion (care of the team it took to accomplish), full body x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, sending info to family when free thumb, and on. Baby carrying muscles built over the years serve me well today. Little guy couldn’t walk & spent the day in my arms - and he’s not so little, any more.
In situations like this I find myself interestingly centered. One particular moment- wheeled to yet another big, cold room with a big, cold machine. Strangers in lab coats. Son was laid into a position which exacerbated his pain. Heavy x-ray blankets intentionally placed to weigh him down into said position. His wide eyes and arms reached toward me, his tears streamed. “Mama…” I’m a few feet away. His little being cannot comprehend all that is happening. But I do: Relief is on the other side of these tests and I instinctively know my position. “I know it hurts. Listen. Be still one time and we won’t have to do this again. Be so still, then I can hold you, quicker.” His silent tears continued but, his body fell still.
Sometime later, the ultimate diagnosis. He was admitted to hospital with an isolated illness & swift medical answer, Amen! That was one blurry, alarm beeping filled night. But by the end of the extended holiday weekend, we were back home, mound of meds in hand. I put son to bed in his own bed. Next, I remember staring blankly at the wall. There had been no opportunity to process the past few days. But even this moment only lasts a moment. I physically shake my head to snap out. As, with so much gratitude, i must rise to prep him for his week as a whole 3-year old boy (!) ALL the praise hands!
The following morning after home care, before the sun was up, I sat on the usual commuter subway train, still toggling between hats as I update the village in son’s life and simultaneously prep for the work week ahead. As key unlocks the front door to my other dimension, the nanny hat secures into place. I hear healthy babies laughing and playing. “C’mon!” says the youngest toddler, in her baby language, which she knows I understand. I smile at the sound, and, run to greet the children.