Two weekends ago, Ella came home from school with a raging fever. This kid doesn’t just get a little fever, it rages. I wouldn’t have known it but, at supper, her eyes looked droopy and she wasn’t eating. This is my good eater, not eating. Red flag! 103.1 should not have been a surprise. This was a Thursday. She didn’t have school on Friday and we continued our weekend. She stuck close to me and that was okay with me. Not okay with Amelia but she’s going to have to give me up at some point, right?
By Sunday morning, the fever had not abated and her previously annoying cough turned to snotty cough that made her throw up. I sent Amelia to church with my aunt and took Ella to urgent care. Bronchitis and a bit of pneumonia in the right lung. She got a nasty antibiotic and we were on our way. I made her stay home from school on Monday to rest even though her fever was nearly gone. I took Amelia to preschool and Ella stayed with me all morning.
Can I just say how much I enjoyed my three hours with my big girl? We don’t do this often enough. I mean, it sucks when your kid is sick but it was kind of fun cuddling with her all day.
I learned something about her too. She is a giant Taylor Swift fan. I? Didn’t know that. How could I not know that? She is my kid. She lives with me. We breathe the same air, eat the same food. I had no idea. We were cruising through the digital channels (I still haven’t been brave enough to cancel cable even though running Netflix through the Wii has changed our lives) (I can’t seem to fathom giving up the DVR) and she saw the beginning of a Taylor Swift tour documentary. Oh Em Gee. She bolted off the couch and STARTED SINGING ALONG…AND KNEW ALL THE WORDS!
What? What happened to my baby? When did she turn into a real kid?
I’m not against Taylor Swift in the least. I mean, her songs all sound the same but she appears to be a decent person and she is good to little kids at her concerts. She seems rather grounded despite being a touring giant. I can get behind that.
I am just floored at Ella and how fast she is growing up. She lost two teeth and her face looks different. Her questions are very specific. She wants to know what every word means.
Ever since that morning…I hold her every chance I get. Poor Amelia is beside herself. But I can’t help that I want to freeze her and keep her 6 years old forever. True, I won’t get grandbabies that way but at least every new book read would be cause for a victory dance and her celebrity heroes would always be young and sparkly and play the guitar.
I may be going too far, wishing for time to stop. My ever perceptive daughter might have had enough.
Amelia had a very long nap on Saturday so Ella and I were watching some Husker football and sharing a chair, cuddled under the same blanket. Ella abruptly got up and moved to the couch.
What’s the matter?
“You are smothering me.”
“Yeah. With your LOVE.” Her eyes got all big when she emphasized the word “Love”.
I can take a hint. It hurts but I can learn to let go. Just a little.
Last night she had a bad dream and ended up at my bedside. I usually march them right back to bed after some discussion and possibly a snack.
I am usually possessive of my newly reclaimed sleep space.
I held open the covers and motioned her into my bed. I curled around my baby, my big girl, and felt her still so small body relax under mine.
And stayed there until the alarm went off.