I had one of those perfectly wonderful weekends, where you accomplish all the house chores you’ve been thinking about while still having time for fun things. We went to a carnival by the lake and Mya rode her first Ferris wheel. I’ve never been a fan of the safety involved with a mechanical ride that travels along the highway, but the look on her face as they belted her into her seat made me forget my own silly nervousness. She looked so small and brave on that ride, smiling and laughing with her dad. Ellie fell asleep in her carrier, resting softly on my chest as I instinctively rocked back and forth. At 2pm I realized it was time for Ellie to eat. So I took her out of her carrier and fed her, while she stayed asleep. I remembered hauntingly those months of feeding her asleep, something she hasn’t done since heart surgery. She stayed asleep as Mya played at the playground near the rides, and without realizing it, I counted Ellie’s breaths. As we got home Ellie looked sad and tired, not herself. So I took her temperature, fever. Here is the moment where I realized a perfectly normal weekend may not happen for a while. If Mya had a fever I would assume a cold, give her Tylenol, watch her symptoms. My mind raced as I read Ellie’s temperature. I counted her breaths, I watched her chest, looked at her color, worried more than I should. Questions flooded my brain, how long has it been since heart surgery, could this be fluid in her lungs, around her heart. I checked her incision. I rocked her in her rocking chair and worried, over a low grade fever with obvious symptoms of a cold. Everything is fine, we will see her pediatrician just in case, but I’m hoping I’ll grow out of that panic feeling over something so minor, hoping that a minor illness can exist with Ellie who I’ve been worried about since she was born. I tell myself worry is a sign of love and that a wonderful weekend with only a hint of catastrophe is not so bad. I could tell myself not to worry, but I know that will never happen. It was a wonderful weekend and I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking of the afternoon when I watched Mya laughing on that Ferris wheel with Ellie asleep against my heart. I’ll allow only a little bit of worry to hide in the back of my mind as I tell myself that Ellie is allowed to have a cold.
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