The fact that you can't suffer on behalf of your kids. You can't ache instead of them, you can't take their pain, their illness and their heartaches. Even after your best efforts to keep them safe and healthy, they will fall sick. You'll have to watch them cry in pain, their eyes sullen in sickness, body weak while you just stand there perfectly physically normal and helpless. Severely helpless. How can that be fair?
So then you pray. Mechanically moving and taking action. Running from doctors to tests to medicines. Wondering why I can't have an umbilical cord to attach and transfer the illness to me instead. Why can't every mother be like Lily Potter who protected Harry with her love. Wouldn't it be just fantastic to have a strong force shield around our kids to save them from all flues, bad vibes and such? I mean, frikken Voldemort couldn't do anything. and here a microscopic bacteria has created havoc.
Such a flaw. They were so safe in the womb. Illnesses were mine, injuries were mine. If I ate junk food, the nutrition (however little) was theirs, the junk was mine. Stupid, bloody birth. Now they have to live in this big bad world, unguarded from bad people and bad viruses.
Even something as 'small and routine' as a blood test of a nearly 4 year old broke my heart into a million pieces. What was I supposed to say when he looked up at me and said, "Mumma why?? It hurts so much!!'...I don't know kiddo... I wish it were me instead. My eyes were watching the docs and nurses like a hawk. Why is an intern allotted to me? How DARE she tell my kid to behave better and take the med. doesn't she know he has 104 temp! has she even tasted how bad the medicine is? does she even know what a good, docile li'l angel my baby is? Stupid girl. Where is the doc? What if this is something serious that gets neglected?
And in all this, one has to be brave, in-charge, and take action. Which hospital, which doc, what medicine, food and pee logs, don't worry kiddo, mommy is in charge. she's totally in control and super brave, nothing to worry, no bad scenarios running in her head. She’s calm positive, reassuring, even trying to fake an upbeat vibe. Yeah sure. You can't let them sense or smell your anxiety or fear or know how truly fattu you are when it comes to them. I am their iron strong pillar of strength, someone they can turn to when in trouble.
Then comes the guilt. One thinks of every simple demand one turned down, every mess I got angry at, every blunder I might have made that got him here. Maybe because I didn't wash his hands the 17th time it got dirty? Maybe it was the sugarcane juice? Maybe I didn't notice and he was wearing a semi wet tee shirt? Maybe maybe maybe... I need a reason, a cause that I can avoid the next time... It has to be like maths. Left equals right and there is no scope for error or chance or variables.
I keep going down the rabbit hole, crossing the corridors of guilt, gloom, regret, despair... till I see the light at the end of the tunnel. A smile. The best smile in the whole world. There couldn't be a better one. Then he says something in a cheery voice, I can't seem to remember the words coz I'm smiling like a idiot in trance... my world is back again like it should be. He reaches for the mango that was brought in a hope to cheer him up... and its all sunshine and roses again. His temperature drops, and coincidentally, I noticed, its spring in the real world. Its not dark and gloomy and the end of the world. There are beautiful colourful flowers around, blue skies, bright sunshine too. What a perfect weather, he insists on going outside and starts demanding a treat... life is good again.
(This was written in Spring 2018, my husband was away for work. My elder son was 4 and younger one was 2 and half years old.)PS: I noticed, the tense in the article is horrible. (I'd like to apologize to half a dozen of my English teachers and to some, not all, of my Grammar Nazi friends... I know my membership will be revoked).