These moments were fleeting, but etched in my mind forever.
I’m preparing for a board meeting. I’ve just finalized a funding report to the department of social development. My phone goes off, it’s an sms notification, “I’m sorry, I just need some time to sort myself out . . .” read the message from my son’s father. I was 5 months pregnant, and we were just about to sign a lease contract. My mind went blank, I looked up and read the message written on a square piece of wall art hanging from a nail. “A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water”. I pulled myself together, stood up, opened my door and walked into the board meeting . . . a single parent.
He is sitting on my lap, on a cold old bench. The walls are bare and the air is clinical. I’m holding onto his tiny hand as he rests his head on my chest. His soft curls brushing my chin as I blink away the many questions running through my mind. He is four years old and I’ve just been told that he has hearing loss . . . come back in 3 months.
They said the enteroscopy would take 30 minutes max. An hour went by and I was still waiting outside the theatre room. It was eerily quiet as bravely stood alone, convinced that they would have called me if anything went wrong, even though it’s been almost an hour and a half since his procedure started? Willing myself to not think the worst, I finally saw an opening as they wheeled another child out of the theatre room. “Why is Kai Petersen’s procedure taking so long?” I asked wearily. The nurse checked her sheet, “I’m sorry but he’s not here”. My heart stopped. “He was taken back to the Children’s Ward half an hour ago”. Slowly my heart started beating again as I rushed up to the next floor, concerned and angry. He had just woken up from the anaesthesia, sitting up confused, he scanned the room looking for me, his mother. I promised him that I would be right next to him, holding his hand when he wakes up . . .
These are but a few of the moments where my heart literally stood still. Where everything around me fell silent, as I withered within. Moments where my past and future merged in the now, taking away my dreams for tomorrow and tainted my memories of yesterday and gave life to the mother I am today. In these moments, my reaction to my fears were crucial to our very survival as mother and child.
This post was in response to The Blog Tag’s Most Memorable Mommy Moment.