Momma thought we made it through this week without too many wounds and emotional scarring. That first day of school was tough...walking in and smelling the same scents, tracing footsteps from 2 years ago, passing the door to your classroom...it was jarring. But, also comforting. It felt good to get back into the old routine. I thought, "Hey! We've got this!" Until yesterday. Dadda brought your brother home from school with a note tucked into his diaper bag. Pertussis alert. Whooping cough. The older sibling of a child in The Pickle's class has a confirmed, diagnosed case of WHOOPING COUGH. Seriously?
After 9 months of no runny noses, no coughs, no sickness, I am now faced with a little Pickle who has a runny nose and tiny, persistent cough. Regardless of his immunization status we now have to start him on a regimen of antibiotics to guard him against pertussis. Momma stayed up most of the night watching The Pickle sleep, making sure his chest was rising and falling with breath. The Angel Care Monitor was fully armed and alarmed twice, sending Momma's heart into overdrive. In the midst of these events all I can think is, "What am I doing?"
What kind of Momma loses her Peanut, is fortunate enough to be blessed with The Pickle, but still goes back to work? Forcing her miracle child into daycare, a place full of sickness, germs, and - apparently - pertussis? What kind of lifestyle is so important that we need Momma to keep plugging away at this job? Am I simply asking the universe to rob us of another son? Have I not learned my lesson?
Peanut, in the months after your death the truly important things in life became crystal clear. The drama and politics of work faded into the background. Material possessions lost their value. Gossip and petty arguments no longer had a place in Momma's world. But slowly, ever so quietly, these have burrowed and snuck back into my frame of reference. The swirl of life, events, schedules, meetings, sunrises and sunsets took over. Momma hadn't even noticed it until yesterday...until the pertussis alert.
Why does it take heart-stopping events, unspeakable losses, and once-in-a-lifetime moments to make us (me) stop and breathe? To reassess? Reprioritize? Shouldn't this be the way we strive to live? Our aspirational best? Why is it so easy to get caught up in the muck?
Peanut, you are Momma's North Star. You are my reminder, "Be better, Momma." Today I focus that energy on The Pickle, his health, and the love of our family. The things that matter. And I commit to release and walk away from the noise, the swirl, the drama, the politics. Today, I will crawl on the floor with your brother, take him to a pumpkin patch to play in the fall leaves, shower him with hugs and kisses, and watch him like a hawk as he naps.
Today I will make sure you, my Peanut, feel my love, my heart, my grief and appreciation all the way up in heaven. I love you, sweet 'Nut. How much? To the mooooooooon - and back.
|A very unhappy Peanut, sitting in a pumpkin patch in October 2009.|