I picked her up and carried her upstairs as she sobbed and choked and sputtered. I gave her bear, binky, hugs, kisses. Nothing consoled her, and as her cries left a nervous air in the house I wondered how she still had the strength to keep crying. I pulled her body against me, her face pressed against the skin just under my collar bone, and she finally gave in and relaxed, shivering with feverish chills. The moment she laid her head on my chest I felt a wave of her emotional trauma hit me like a bucket of ice water. Pain. Sadness. Fear. Before I understood what exactly had transpired I was also in tears.
I called my neighbor and told her I wouldn't be making it to Enrichment Night after all. With my 1920's hair, I took my sick toddler home. I stopped in the bathroom to relieve my aching bladder, and Andrea collapsed on the linoleum in a sobbing heap. It was probably the most helpless I've ever felt in my life thus far, watching her and not being able to hold her for that moment. After a solid hand washing, I gathered her in my arms and poured her a bottle of milk. Once the bottle was devoured all was quite, and she drifted off into a deep sleep. I held her tightly and said a prayer for her.
I don't love that she's sick, but I love that I got to hold her while she slept. I love that she allowed me to be her comfort. I love her. More than I can describe, so I won't even try.
This evening her fever broke. She had a bath, smiled, and is soundly asleep.