Last night I spent three hours at the emergency room with my youngest child. They were three of the longest hours of my life.
She woke up sweaty, screaming, and clutching her stomach. Eden had been complaining all day that her belly hurt. Up until this moment I had thought it was the lingering effects of her stomach flu, but now I worried there was something seriously wrong with my baby.
It only took five seconds for me to imagine her appendix bursting, her bowels perforating, her kidneys seizing. And from the look on my husband’s face as he carried Eden to the car, I knew I wasn’t the only one.
We didn’t hesitate or stop to brainstorm ideas, we just knew I needed to take her to the hospital quickly and get our little one help.
The ten minute drive took an eternity and during the journey I thought about how fragile our children really are. A million different things can go wrong: their bodies could get sick, they could be hurt in an accident, a twisted monster could take them away.
As I carried my lethargic, limp baby into the hospital I felt it was simply miraculous that any child ever lived to be an adult.
Three hours later, we exited through the very doors we had entered earlier, only this time Eden was walking and waving good-bye to the platoon of nurses she had won over with her bravery and spunk.
The hospital staff had given her medicine and fluids through an I.V. and ran tests to rule out serious complications. The diagnosis was simply a vicious flu bug that had rendered her dehydrated and somehow constipated.
Right now she is playing on the couch while sipping Sprite through a sippy cup and nibbling saltine crackers. She is snuggly and smiling and practically perfect as she tells her siblings for the fifteenth time how brave she was when faced with a needle last night.
This is what I need to remember: our children are fragile, easily falling prey to countless atrocities. But they are resilient also. They heal. They get better. They survive.
And because of that, I think I might possibly survive too.