Apparently I had missed the fact that Mother's Day and May 11th are THE EXACT SAME DAY this year.
Should that matter?
On Mother's Day 2004, my son was sick.
Elijah had caught the bronchial infection that was 'run-of-the-mill' with Supergirl, but more of an orange alert with him.
I drove him down the mountain to meet with our pediatrician, who happened to be on call that weekend. On the way down the spectacular canyon drive, I ran into a site which was not unfamiliar: A 'safety' or 'trailer' car going about 19 mph to protect the rider in front of the car: a skateboarder or inline skater.
All the way down the mountain.
All the fucking way down the mountain. All of those eight miles to the coast. At less than twenty mph. With a sick baby.
And in this case, on this day, it was a rollerblader dressed in a lime green catsuit. And it took every shred of self-restraint to see this catsuited figure who did a fancy spin and tossed a super lame thumbs-up motion to all the many cars that had been crawling along behind him/her, and then not MOW THEM THE FUCK DOWN with my car. But I was worried about my baby, so I
The pediatrician met us at the office rather than the ER; she knew we were always afraid of him catching more germs, or more horrible germs than the ones he had.
She listened to his lungs, and announced that he had bronchitis.
I was relieved; after all, it wasn't pneumonia. I remember distinctly how I scooped him back into my arms and kissed him with relief. We talked about the 'pinch test' for a rudimentary oxygen test, and how we had been checking his color regularly. I discussed how we had taken him off of the growth hormone because neither the endocrinologist, nor the pharmaceutical company would return our calls about Elijah's adverse reactions to the HGH. She was on call, and got beeped repeatedly while we were there.
She prescribed an antibiotic for him and then mentioned that he may sound a bit worse the next day, as things started to break up in his chest. She said to call if he started to sound wheezy.
I asked her if she really thought he was okay to not be in a hospital. I reminded her that we lived 30 minutes away from the hospital. This is both memorable and remarkable, since dh and I had done more in Elijah's life to avoid hospital stays than most parents are forced to do, and inquiring about the need for him to be admitted was nothing short of deep fear. I wish I had listened to my deep fear, rather than my desperate desire for the relief of a lesser illness.
I really wanted to believe her. I wanted to believe that he was not that sick.
So I believed her.
I allowed myself one last gut-knocking (hello brain? this is your gut knocking...are you listening?) moment of doubt. On the way out of the exam room, I stopped.
That moment is frozen in time.
He was on my shoulder, my sweet tiny little sick boy; and the carseat was hanging off of my other arm. I asked her if she was concerned about the tracheomalacia. It seemed to me that the combination of the tracheomalacia and bronchitis might be dangerous.
Her answer was unforgettable.
"You two are way on top of it - you are such careful and vigilant parents - I have confidence that you will know if he starts to get worse. And happy mother's day!"
Just TRY living with that.
On the way home, I picked up his prescription. It was a longer day than it should have been for a sick little baby. Which is why the admission of this next part makes me ill. Elijah was fussing on the way home. He rarely cried, so you would think that the Mother of the Year award would be within reach, with such a good baby and so little to complain about.
You would be wrong.
I actually gave him my mommy admonishment, "Oh now now, stop that fussing. We'll be home soon."
And go on, try living with THAT.
And when I brought him home, did I sit down in the rocking chair and rock his little sick body to sleep? No I did not. He was already asleep. I had an almost three year old, I had things to do. And I had spent the entire day before mother's day face-down on the bathroom floor with (assumed) food poisoning, avoiding Elijah in case it was some horrid contagious bug.
The horrible mothers day morphed into the next day without much to distinguish itself other than the sunrise. Elijah continued to sleep a lot and not look well. I continued to catch up on laundry and emails and making food. We tried all day to feed Elijah, he would eat just a few bites before he would try and go back to sleep. This was heartwrenching.
The pediatrician was right; he did sound worse. And he was wheezing. So I called and left a message for the doctor. Her incompetent nurse called me back and said to go pick up a prescription for albuterol. Another two hours away from my baby - just to go to town.
Do you think I go over these details much?
Maybe it is better this way. These anniversaries are like getting sucker punched each time, so now it will be two rotten days rolled into one.
The whole killing birds, stone thing. Not that I would kill birds. I rarely even kill spiders. Unless they are this kind.
For now, my (spider-filled) box is calling me back into it, so you can just wait for the non-surprise ending or you can torture yourself with the brain damagingly memorable early hours of May 11th.