Friday, 15 March 2013

My littlest boy

My littlest boy, Ted, woke the night before last. Like me, he loves sleep so this was unusual. His cry was pained, he seemed disorientated, kept putting one hand over his right ear. I scooped him into my arms and rocked him, he cuddled in and seemed a little comforted.

We gave him medicine, he spat it out. We brought him downstairs, sat him on the sofa under a blanket, offered him toast and jam. We watched videos on YouTube together. He cheered up.

Sometimes I forget how small they are, how vulnerable. He's usually the tough one - falls down, dusts himself off, gets up and hurtles off for more fun and rampaging. I forget. He needs me. 

Brace yourself for a sob, but this poem says it all, all there is to say about being a parent. I thank my lucky stars.

My boy is sleeping safe in bed
Without a tumour in his head.

No hepatitis, septicaemia.
No lymphoma, no leukaemia.

His heart is strong, his breathing sure.
The marrow in his bones is pure.

CF, MD or HIV.

We drove him safely to his school,
And back again. He swam the pool

Untroubled, laughing, loving it.
No seizure, stroke or fatal fit.

No aircraft engine yet has failed.
No train come lethally derailed.

He moves from trampoline to tree
To bicycle, to skate and ski,

Unharmed, unruffled, innocent.
No injury. No accident.

He sleeps. We sleep. Another day
Is passed in ease. We made more hay.

No horror here, no sudden shark.
No plunge into the depthless dark.

No slip from sunshine into sorrow.
But there’s always tomorrow.
Always tomorrow.

by Mike Reed for Dog Ear Magazine
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