My mother had to take me to A&E when I was 12 months old because I swallowed a baby bracelet and was wheezing and breathing oddly. She tells the story now and laughs about how I used to eat everything I could get my hands on. She laughs, but even 33 years later I can hear a nervous edge to her laughter that tells me it wasn’t at all funny at the time. She recalls the story over the phone and there are little quiet gaps in her speech that are filled with the memory of the fear she felt at the time.
Yesterday I spent the morning in A&E with Sun. He had hit his head several days before and his symptoms had lead me to a brightly lit hospital bed where neuro specialists whispered and scribbled notes while glancing back and forth at my boy. Inside I was repeating: this is just a precaution, he’s absolutely fine…even though panic was surging through my veins.
I wanted to pick him up, walk out and back into the week before when none of this was a part of my life. I wanted to pick him up and march him forward into today where I knew he was fine and we were laughing at him never being allowed to go on a bouncy castle again.
Nothing has the ability to slam everything into perspective like gritty, sharp visceral fear.
Today I got the best Mother’s Day presents ever.
I spent the day with my little girl.
She giggled and pointed out the ‘wuff’ that was stuck between her toes. She followed me around asking constantly, ‘what you doing mummy?’ I watched her climb onto her brother’s lap and ask him to read her a story.
I spent the day with my boy.
My boy who is completely fine.
My boy who had painted me a picture of irises on my mother’s day card. My boy who made me laugh by being grumpy that he had slept in and missed out on making me ‘breakfast in his bed’ as he had hoped. My boy who told me this afternoon, ‘I love you more than all the other days’.
Happy Mother’s Day.