Monday, 18 October 2010

A Different Sort of First


This weekend, for the first time in his healthy little life, my baby boy was sick.

It was nothing out of the ordinary - just a regular childhood fever - but for a few long days the sickness sat on his soul and suffocated his spirit so that we cared for his burning little body whilst his real self was absent.

The helplessness was something I had anticipated but the sense of loss was a surprise. The baby who sat quietly on my hip and looked seriously at me when I smiled was a surreal version of the one that I loved and even whilst I held him close I missed him.

By day I went about my business with a weary sense of anxiety and by night I lay on the very edge of the bed, stroking his burning back whilst he groaned and tossed miserably beside me.

But at the end of a strange weekend full of hot cheeks and pasty faces, long nights and little sleep, expensive thermometers and late night phone calls to NHS Direct, John woke up with a gurgle.

He pushed himself onto his knees and smiled at me through the bars of his cot. His forehead was cool and dry. And beneath his wide, sleepy smile a tiny new tooth had emerged. Thank goodness for that.

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