…Unless it projectiles out of your severely-allergic-to-dairy-protein four month-old infant’s mouth AND lands you in the ER because he swells and turns tomato red all over. Then it’s OK to cry over the spilt milk. I sure did. Not in the frantic moments of seeing his ears almost pop off his head while driving like a stunt driver to the hospital (secretly wishing to get pulled over and opportunistically ask for an escort), but as soon as the young, serious, and self assured resident gently asked me to tell him what happened, that’s when I lost my adrenaline induced composure. “What happened to me?” I wanted to echo, clearly knowing he was inquiring about my bright red sausage baby. I wanted to let him know that I was in active cardiac distress and may need oxygen. I wanted him to triage me and call some kind of mommy ‘code’ that would alert unoccupied “reassure-ers” to come my way. I wanted to say something funny, to feel better, but realized sarcasm would be lost here. That there wasn’t anything funny about this sequence of events, not yet anyway.

There’s something very scary about being in a children’s ER, experiencing your trauma as well as the chaotic traumas of others. Little voices behind drawn curtains crying, some screaming, masked by the gentle humming of consoling adults, all of which is muted by loud concise orders exchanged between doctors and nurses. There’s something so frightening about being in the same hospital you were in just four short months ago, giving birth to this fragile little being now admitted as a patient. Life is fragile was the message in the ER, fragile and precious.

As I tried my best to find strength, I gathered my shaken voice and responded, “Well doctor, I gave him very expensive grade A formula and apparently poisoned him.” The young lad assured me that my little love would be fine (as I clearly looked in need of reassurance), but as for me, he couldn’t guarantee that I would be, fine, that is. After a mini cocktail of Benadryl and steroids, my darling boy began to return to his normal size, shape, and color. And as he dozed off into a drug induced slumber, I too returned to my normal color, sort of.

Laying there in the hospital cradling my young son in the same way I had done just a few months ago, I flash forwarded to a day that I will replay this experience for him, including all of the annoying details as only moms do, in an effort no doubt to convey my lifelong love and devotion to him. And as I thought about this, all of motherhood’s glory came flooding in. This is what makes us mothers, warriors. The ability to be present in the most dire and emotionally distressing situations. These are the stories we share with each other through tears and sometimes laughter, able to see the lighter side after it’s all said and done. Always ready for the next thing because there always is…a next thing. Motherhood is for life. Days pass and experiences come and go, but the memories never leave us. So for all the mothers out there, celebrate and be celebrated on this Mother’s Day, for I truly believe there is no greater honor or duty than that of a mother.

Happy Mother’s Day


{Fin Update: He is back on his more-expensive-than-gold dairy free formula and is happy and healthy. Due to his chronic happy baby syndrome he is much less fazed than me by the whole experience.}