We are flying back to New York today. Last night as I was packing Emma called out for me. ”Mommy! Mommy!” Em has only just begun to do this – call our name if she wants us or is wondering where we are. It’s such a small thing, but every time she does it, my heart skips a beat. I’ve even caught myself holding my breath, waiting to see if she’ll do it again. It brings me such joy. ”Mommy!” she called, then waited to hear my answer. ”Hey Em! I’m downstairs!” I called to her. ”Mommy’s downstairs,” I could hear her saying as she came down to find me. (Another interruption. I know, but I can’t help it.) The fact that Emma came downstairs to find me is another thing that is fairly new. I could hear her footsteps coming down the stairs. ”Have to go see Mommy nurse,” Emma said as she plopped into a chair near me.
“Oh no Em. What’s wrong?”
“Belly go bang-bang,” Emma said, bending over and holding her stomach. (This is what Em typically says when she’s about to throw up.) ”You cannot punch. Have to go to the hospital. Go see hospital nurse.”
I looked at her and went through the following thought process - Oh shit. Could it be her appendix? What side is she holding? No, she’s holding the middle of her stomach, this can’t be her appendix, but what if it’s something serious? An ulcer, a tumor? Em doesn’t usually complain about aches and pains unless it’s serious. I then calculated how long it would take to drive her to the hospital, how long we would have to wait, how long it would take to get an x-ray, and then see an actual doctor to tell us the results… Finally having run through the entire scenario I decided I needed more information.
“Em. Where does it hurt exactly?”
She pointed to the middle of her stomach. ”Hurts here. Emma’s sick. Take temperature?” I felt her forehead, which felt fine. ”I’m cold. Emma has to stay home.” She wrapped her arms around herself and then said, “Emma can’t go to new school.” She frowned and pouted, while nodding her head. ”I know, I know. Emma’s sick. Emma has to stay home with Mommy.”
“Oh Emmy.” I reached my arms out to her. She came over to me and rested her head on my shoulder. ”I know. Emma doesn’t feel well,” she said.
Just as she said this Richard’s voice could be heard calling out, “Hey Em! Want to go for a ride on the 4-Wheeler?”
Em jumped up from the chair and called back, “Yes!” Then raced out the door and bounded up the stairs.
Anxiety. Stress. Fear. And that’s just what I’m feeling… For Em it’s got to be even more complicated.
Em on the 4-wheeler