He's sick. His little body burns with fever and when he wakes in the night he screams in feverish fear until I kiss his cheek.
By day he lies listlessly on the sofa, his eyes empty and lost, and by night he tosses miserably in his bed and calls out for his Mummy through the darkness.
And all of a sudden my whole world once again revolves around just being there.
I hold him and rock him in my arms. I lie in bed and sing to him whilst he gazes silently up at me. I scoop him up in my arms and carry him whilst he buries his face in my neck. I wipe his tears and kiss his hot head and run my hands over his clammy little back. I cradle his head on my lap as we watch cartoons together. I stack the stories on the sofa and read them until his eyelids begin to close.
And for as long as he needs me I'm there, just as I was when he was a babe. A warm presence. A comforting whisper. Two enfolding arms. A constant.
Soon the fever will pass and he'll chatter and laugh and run once again. But just for now, I'm holding him closer and savouring the weight of his body in my lap. I'm reliving an echo of his babyhood and waiting for wellness to return. I'm just being there. For as long as he needs me to be.