My son is amazing. He smiles widest for his sister, who never fails to amaze me with her energy and intelligence and creativity. She loves her brother madly and has to be dissuaded from kissing him every moment he's awake. Those tiny baby nails are sharp, but it doesn't deter her.
We travelled to the UK to see my dad the week before last. He was weak and old. I was expecting weak and sick, but old took me by surprise. He gave me the things he was leaving me in the will. I sobbed like a baby; so did he. I'm going to miss him. The tradition of the Jaffa Cake tree, the tree that miraculously sprouts delicious cookies when grandchildren visit, had to be suspended: he was too weak to walk to the end of the garden.
And then my husband. He was thrashing around in pain when the glorious Big Kid came bouncing into the bedroom on Saturday morning. It was still dark as I called the ambulance, still dark as they came rushing in and I vacated the bedroom, taking both kids with me and feeding them breakfast as I tried to downplay the seriousness of having actual ambulance people in the house. One brought in the defib bag; another a little ECG machine. The third asked me questions about medications and seemed aggrieved that I didn't know all the answers. I'm not the one taking them, dude, this is everything I know. And they took him off on the trolley, cursing as they ran into our trick paving stone.
I spoke to him on the phone briefly before they operated. He billed it as "exploratory surgery", and I think they downplayed to him as he did to me. I wasn't too stressed until I called the hospital and they told me he was in intensive care and "stable, bur serious". I'm well-practised at packing his hospital bag, so off we went the following afternoon, our little humans and I, to deliver it. They wouldn't let the kids in. I had to leave my two-month-old son in the arms of a nurse who put on a sterile gown for the purpose. His older sister stayed there too, talking the nurse's ear off about ballet (she's been to one class, it pissed her off because she didn't have a tutu or special shoes). The patient was yellowish green and covered in tubes: NG, central line, arterial line, the undignified tube. It's never been so scary before, and I am feeling the way I feel about my dad and wondering whether my kids will be old enough to feel like this by the time they are where I am.I'm afraid for all of us.
Edit: I should make it clear that the defib bag went unused; the ECG reading was fairly impressive. Lovely unremarkable heartrate - the problem was slightly lower.
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