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On sick children and graters to the heart

My son is sick. A fever of 103. A throat that aches. And chills that rattle his teeth. He curls up to me and asks for his favorite red blanket. He drinks gatorade and requests more stories. And now, after a one hour attempt to reach a doctor, I’ve given him medicine and put him to bed. And it is then, as I see his little body pressed against the sheets, sleep overtaking him and making still his feverish form– and that fever, that damn fever, refusing to back down an inch, the stoicism vaporizes and I feel a pain– like rocks– grating against my heart. Memories of my youngest, and our days in the hospital, waiting for numbers to recede that simply wouldn’t for what felt like three lifetimes, slam against me unwelcome but assault nonetheless.

He will be fine.
He will be fine.
He will be fine.

Insh’Allah.

I watch his sleeping figure and feel a helpless rage about my helplessness. I run my hands through his soft curls and the pain, feels physical. I know that children get sick. I know fevers are part and parcel of childhood. But I hurt because he hurts. I hurt because I can’t give him a chicken sandwich to erase his hunger. Or bring out the bubbles to erase his boredom. Or hold him to erase his frustration. He’s sick. I want to take it away. But medicine. Phone calls. Nothing I can do, is working. It’s out of my control.

And nothing about being a parent is more frightening than this.

I will take him to the doctor tomorrow. They will diagnose and prescribe a plan. I will follow it. I will smile and soothe him. I will hold him when he asks for a cuddle. I will distract him with Curious George and all the books his heart desires. And I will do it without showing any hint of how I feel inside. I will pretend there is no grater physically shredding my heart.

He will be fine.
He will be fine.
He will be fine.

Insh’Allah.

11 thoughts on “On sick children and graters to the heart”

  1. Thanks Jamila, aw you guys are sick again??? It's been like every week in this household too, this one is the worst of it though. It's so rough on everyone 😦

    Thanks anon.

    Like

  2. Thanks Ayesha, keep us in your prayers!

    Thanks mystic, and when I have a moment to get on my blog-reader I will definitely check it out! I am a silent reader btw on my my reader of your blog.

    Like

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