There are times, as with every parent, that you want to pop their heads off, but then there are the moments of tenderness that seem to erase your last fit of frustration. These moments usually happen with older kids who are realizing all the work their parents invest in them, but when it happens with a young spectrum kid, it's a miracle.
I'm struggling right now with allergy-yuck-bronchitis. So there's a lot, A LOT of coughing, well barking, going on. I can't breathe without hacking. This morning, Jake came to breakfast and saw my lineup of 4 medications and promptly said, "Good morning, are you going to die?"
That's not the tender part...
This must have been with him all day. When I picked him up, I was still coughing. Following his exercise class, still coughing... take inhaler while driving... breathe!
Jake again asked me in a very concerned and scared voice, "Mom what exactly is wrong with you?"
So I explained that I was very glad he asked so we could alleviate some of his worry. I told him that sometimes I get allergies and get all gunky. Sometimes my air pipes swell up from coughing and all that gunk gets stuck, tickling me inside and making it hard to breathe. He understood that, thank goodness, there's not an easier-to-understand word than "gunk"!
"If we are at home and you stop breathing, will you go in an ambulance?"
"I hope so, but someone would have to call them."
"Would Dad ride with you in the ambulance? Would I ride with you in the ambulance?"
I said, "well, maybe daddy, but we'd find a friend to stay with you so you weren't scared."
"No. I want to go with you. I want to be with you always. You are my partner, my other part, like."
I nearly needed to pull over the car. Crying was not conducive to the current snot situation so I was just sat quietly soaking in the moment.
"You know that when I get mad and yell that I love you so much. I could never be without you mommy. I just lose control sometimes then I feel really bad."
My heart was swelling again. I could feel beating in my temples.
I could feel his deep need to know I will always be here, almost desperation.
That's a lot to carry. It can be heavy. It can be hard.
But I'll carry this miracle with me every day.