I woke up with a sore throat this morning, and after trying to ignore it the first half of the day, by lunch I was feverish and fatigued. I diagnosed myself with strep and climbed in bed. Neil, who worked from home all day, was gone when dinner time rolled around. I sluggishly went downstairs to get dinner started.
Antonella stops me and says she would make dinner. I pause… I tell her not to use anything made of glass and head back to bed. She quickly delegates tasks as I walk up the stairs; August to his chair with some crackers, Jeremiah to help with sandwiches, and Sam to get drinks for everyone. Just like I would do.
I slowly shut the door behind me and decide that I feel well enough to sprint downstairs in case of an emergency. It seems strangely quiet and I am tempted to sneak a peek. But I rest… and moments later I get the report. She leans on my door and calmly recounts. Peanut butter and jelly for three, turkey for one. Crackers and carrots on the side. No spills. And for dessert, ginger snap sandwiches filled with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips, an original creation.
Before shutting the door again she asks, “Can I get you some buttered toast?”
My mind races back to our first winter together in our basement apartment. Snow piled up all around us and she wore a pink snowsuit to sleep. Teeth clenched in never before felt pain, I was committed to nurse the chubby girl. She needed me. Tonight, I need her.
Wonder and fear, the good kind of fear, fill my heart as she runs off to play pirates with her brothers. What a gift, what responsibility. What sobering joy–the kind that fills you and empties you of all power at the same time.
This article helped me so much tonight. For a seven year old, I think she rides with grace.