The Strength of a Mother

The fever broke in the night. She awoke, her wet hair clinging to her face in strings. I rolled her over, patted and shusshed.

I’d hoped we’d spend today as we usually do. Tending to her baby dolls. Reading her favorite books. Making a chalk-drawn tulip garden on the sidewalk.

Instead we spent it in the space between sick and all better. Recovering.

We’d spent the weekend on an impromptu family getaway. We’d had fun, caught the ice cream that dripped from chins when the sun warmed it. We’d slept in the air conditioned cocoon of a hotel room and left a tip for the unlucky soul who’d face the wake of what we’d left behind.

While the rest of us slept my two year squirmed and cried with fever. Then in the earliest of morning hours the unmistakable barking cough that is croup.

At two she doesn’t understand what it means to be sick, to recover. All she knows is that on days like this one, her little world becomes smaller and that it feels good for mama to rub her back.

The pink blankie makes a perfect pillow.

The Cinderella sippy cup holds just the right amount of crushed ice and apple juice.

Mama’s lap is always available for cuddling and she’ll sing to me quietly even if I don’t ask.

When my oldest child was a baby I worried endlessly. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m a mess. What if I make a mistake? 

The first time I was called by the daycare center that he’d gotten sick and told I would need to take him home I fretted for the entire drive there. That night I was home alone with him and had to call a friend to stay with us because I was too scared to stay with him alone. What if he stopped breathing? How high a fever is too high?

Thankfully he made it through the night and so did I.

Since then there have been too many sick days to count. There have been trips to the ER and IVs in bags. There has been vomiting in the back seat and frantic calls to Poison Control. There’s been ringworm and the swine flu and weird rashes that itch.

And with each sick day I’ve endured, each night spent sitting vigil at the bedside of a child, there has also been strength. Intuition. It was there all along– I just didn’t know it.

Now, when I face the seemingly insurmountable, I remind myself that I have the strength of a mother. The fever will break, and tomorrow will bring a brand new day.

Thinking of my fellow Babble blogger Diana Stone who is reminding us all about the true strength of a mother.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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  1. Beautiful post. I believe a great deal in mother’s intuition. I learned very early on to always trust it. My child’s pediatrician trusts my intuition also, which I love. I don’t have to feel silly calling her or going to see her.

    I actually have a post scheduled for later this week about how my intuition is not telling me what is going on with my child right now (she had a grand mal seizure that was not fever induced) and how scared I am.

    Croup is awful. SB has had a LOT of things, but that was so hard for me. Listening to that cough was awful! Hope she is better soon and you all get caught up on rest!

  2. Aw, it’s so hard when the littles are sick. You’re so right about a mother’s intuition and strength though…it was there all along.
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Running is my Super PowerMy Profile

  3. Brilliant post as always! Those days of “babydom” are so far behind me that I almost forget…almost. The helpless feelings, the long nights, the sleeping next to the crib….it is all coming back to me now. Thanks for a trip down memory lane that brought a smile to my face because yes…I made it through it and so did my babies!
    Beth Ann Chiles recently posted..Showers of CommentsMy Profile

  4. Jester Queen says:

    Oh wow. My heart goes out to Diana Stone. A difficult time and an impossible decision should not be made more difficult by hospital interferance. I’m glad the public media onslaught is getting her the support she needs.

    I’m also glad your littlest bird is feeling better! Croup is nasty. It was the one that ALWAYS led me to doubt my parenting skills.
    Jester Queen recently posted..A week in picturesMy Profile

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