Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend Warrior

It was just the other night that I sat at the side of their bed and marveled at their size. Two boys who used to share a crib with lots of space to share, now sleep in a queen size bed with legs outstretched, just a foot or so from the end of the bed. Sometimes they split the bed horizontally with Dean stretched out across the head of the bed, laying across all pillows and Jack will sprawl at the foot of the bed. Other nights they share their bed like a married couple, legs intertwined, faces tilted toward each other. Some nights they spoon, the one on the outside with his arms wrapped around the other.
It was just Thursday night that I sat looking at my boys. Tom came in and wondered what I was doing. They're not babies anymore, I said.
Friday night Jack was running a fever. His breathing wasn't normal. Jack breathes silently, with little movement. I decided to sleep with him, in case he needed me. A short time after I laid down with him, he woke up coughing, scared. He sounded like a wounded seal. We've been through this before, he and I. I gathered him in my arms and carried him to the bathroom. Soon, the bathroom is steamy and I'm holding him, rocking back and forth, memories of this dance running through my mind. In times past I would take him outside and lay on the chaise, letting the cool night air soothe his lungs, whispering to him what he was like as a baby to soothe his mind. This option was unavailable to us because of the fires of the previous week. There was still too much smoke in the air. One of the reasons he was having this cough in the first place, I believe. After 30 minutes in the steamy bathroom, we went back to bed. His breathing was better, still not great. We fell asleep. I dreamt that I was being chased.
Two hours later he woke again, coughing, sounding worse than before. Mommy! His voice sounded cracked, hoarse. Again, we headed to the bathroom. This time I contemplated taking him outside. Maybe the air wasn't as bad as I thought? I didn't want to risk it. We stayed in the steamy bathroom for another 30 minutes but his breathing wasn't much better. I tried settling into the recliner thinking maybe if we were propped up he'd be able to breathe. It didn't help. I knew there was a bottle of prednisone (steroids) in the fridge. I've been cautioned by the doctor to not give it to him unless he's wheezing. I'm holding him in my arms, he's hot and he's wheezing. I lay him on the couch and go to the kitchen. Carefully, I read the instructions, afraid in my sleep deprived state I'm going to give him too much. I gave him the prednisone and tylenol for his fever. I pulled him into me, he rested his head against my chest.
So many nights we spent on the couch when they were babies, sleeping on our chests.
We fell asleep on the couch.
Today? He's all better.

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