I hold my sweet baby. Her breathing so shallow. Her body so small. There is nothing more I can do. I can only hold her. And wait.
This was three weeks ago. And just 5 weeks from her previous episode. Both were far from home during our sabbatical.
Control is just an illusion.
You can’t call it asthma. She is too young for the diagnosis. But she uses the same medications. Nebulizer options. Inhaler options. Reactive Airway Disorder they say.
But it isn’t asthma as I knew it. A girl running, stopping, not being able to catch her breath. Using an inhaler. Almost instant recovery.
This comes on almost as fast, but it lasts, for her, about 36 hours each time. A cold could trigger it. Or a change in the weather. Or nothing. We just guess.
We hold her, and watch her, and space out the medications. We stay in contact with the nurse. We have no real control.
But we learned how to live with no control long ago. That illusion was shattered by a child who couldn’t speak. Apraxia of speech. Sign language. Years of therapists. Who knew a child with special needs was a gift? Such a gift to realize we were not in control so early on in our parenting.
Yes, a gift.
Because in these times, many are realizing it for the first time. And it is hard to let go of that illusion. But once you embrace it, the reality that you really only have the right now and right here choices, there is a freedom.
I don’t need to control tomorrow. I need to hold my baby. Today.