On sick days we hold one another. Sticky, chubby fingers find mine as he breathes (not so easily), in... and out... Croup has come to roost in our too-small-for-a-sick-coughing-crying-toddler apartment and I spend most of the day in bed. With him. Watching Barney against my will, but contentedly succumbing my hand and heart to his sad need for comfort.
So today, in between whimpers, we hold on. I remember that this is where it's at: being there for them when it hurts. This is good and right. Dishes in the sink, work on the table, clothes on the floor... they are nothing compared to this. A mother doing nothing but sitting by her child's side.
I see he's safe and resting and I get up to go. "No, mommy here," he croaks. So I lie down next to him and he smiles, pain-free for the moment. Sticky, chubby fingers back where they belong.