motherhood, sick

On sickness and dreams of Mount Kilimanjaro

There are moments of parenting that take you to the highest peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Those smiles that break into laughter when you chase them around the house holding a stuffed penguin who is chasing what at the moment has declared himself a whale shark. And that laugh, like a wind chime. Like a cake made of sugar and sunshine. Like nothing else matters in the world but this moment.

And those conversations. When you’re discussing why he can’t have a pet dinosaur. And the why’s stretch out, each new answer leading to a new question until you’re asking about the very nature and existence of the universe.

And then, there are those moments you’re treading water in the bottom of a dark barrel.

The sickness has not abated. The fever that left, snuck back before bedtime with a vengeance. And it’s been a rough night whose prequel was a rougher day. One of those days where the belly aches with hunger, but the food burns as it goes down the throat. And books and television can only distract so much. And while hugs are appreciated, he doesn’t understand how I, this former healer of all cuts and scrapes with a kiss and a magic touch, can’t take away this pain.

Mama, he wailed. I’m sick. And then stared plaintively at me. Blinking. Tears streaming down his face. And waiting. Expecting. And not understanding why I can’t take the pain away. Let’s go back to the doctor. Not that doctor. A new doctor. That doctor did not make me better. We need new doctor.Β 

And we will go. Just as soon as they open. And sit for hours in a waiting room full of coughs and sneezes while I do my best to shield the baby and block out worries about what new thing the toddler will catch on this lovely outing. And fight the exhaustion of being up all night and then up for the day at 6:20 by a certain infant.

And I will smile and I will comfort and I will soothe. And I will count my blessings of which there are numerous. For insurance. For a partner in this who might let me nap at some point today, I can’t imagine those who do this alone. And for the belief I will continue to cling to, that this will get better because for so many this sleepless, exhausted reality, worried about your kid is a constant and daily battle with no end date in sight. I don’t know my end date, but inshallah it is coming.

And as I sit among strewn toys, and half-eaten graham cracker rabbits, I will dream of scaling Mount Kilimanjaro again. I swear I can see it’s peaks in the horizon even from where I sit today.

11 thoughts on “On sickness and dreams of Mount Kilimanjaro”

  1. Aisha, thinking of you. Best wishes for a prompt recovery for Waleed, some sleep for you and magic virus avoidance abilities on Musa's side.

    Natalie

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  2. Don't want to be rude, but these small illnesses are necessary as they built good immune system for later!

    I hope this ordeal gets over soon…Been there, done there – and I know how hard it was!

    I hope Waleed soon feels well!

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  3. Natalie, thank you so much! xoxo

    Mystic, not rude at all, a needed reminder, thank you. Do you know by any chance, not to seek medical opinion, but since he's been sick by Sunday, he's not eating much, no more than 300 calories a day, should I be worried or its okay? I'm worried that this is prolonging the illness the fact that he's not eating at all. [300 is overestimating]

    Susan, oh no! I'm so sorry! 😦 Thinking of you guys, in the same shoes, NO FUN 😦 Prayers for well wishes and health soon.

    A, lol, at this point I would get him four dinos if I could, thanks for thinking of us! xoxox

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  4. “The situation was worse than we thought, but Alhamdullilah Alhamdullilah we figured it out”…
    Hmmmm…. I think diagnosis was made.

    I am happy, he is better and smiling!

    Usually, viral illnesses last 4/5 days peaking at 72 hours….

    (I didn't check your blog till late today. You can email me anytime if any question. With iphone, it has quicker response time)

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  5. “The situation was worse than we thought, but Alhamdullilah Alhamdullilah we figured it out”…
    Hmmmm…. I think diagnosis was made.

    I am happy, he is better and smiling!

    Usually, viral illnesses last 4/5 days peaking at 72 hours….

    (I didn't check your blog till late today. You can email me anytime if any question. With iphone, it has quicker response time)

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  6. Thank you mystic, yes, they treated it and today he is much better— it lasted 7 days so far but insh'allah by tomorrow he will be okay. Fingers crossed. Thanks again!

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