The phrase “hindsight is 20/20” floated in front of my brain at a constant rate tonight – like the drops of water used in Chinese water torture. After my four year old’s fever had returned with a vengeance, and his belly pain more pronounced, the pediatrician suggested taking him straight to the ER to rule out appendicitis. So I sat on a gurney with a crying boy in my lap, holding him as a stranger took blood from his arm, and the worry and regrets flooded in – maybe I shouldn’t have let him play today, maybe he shouldn’t have slept at my parents’ house last night, maybe I should have insisted he sit and rest. It was my first serious, nail-biting, hand-wrenching, this-is-serious experience in my short tenure as mother to this child.
Four hours and two Popsicles later, my boy was safe and sound at home, with nothing more than a suspected foul-tempered virus and a ravenous appetite, and his neurotic, needle and blood-phobic mother was his rock and his shelter, despite feeling anything but on the inside. I was proud of us both.