September 1st, 2014
On Monday she forgot.
I wrote it down. I spoke it aloud. Clear directions. 10:30 and 2:30. Please give her the inhaler.
On Tuesday I was still beyond mad. I marched into the nurse’s office and asked how she dared. How did she dare to forget my girl. And her breathing? How dare she make me feel ignored?
She blamed the teacher.
I told her that wouldn’t fly.
She didn’t know what to say.
She didn’t forget again.
But neither have I. I haven’t forgotten the sound of her cough, the one she gets now only every so often. The one she used to get too frequently. The one that led us to doctor’s visit upon doctor’s visit, that had us sitting on the couch watching videos while she inhaled air through the nebulizer. I haven’t forgotten the way she gasps between breaths when it’s bad, the sounds of her wheezing and rasping. I haven’t forgotten the first time it happened all of a sudden, out of the blue, shockingly fast. The rush for the inhaler and the steamy air of the bathroom with the shower running.
All week I kissed her goodbye at her classroom door, sent her in to settle her things, turned to go and remind the nurse that she must never forget. That she shouldn’t need reminding. That this is indeed her job. I reminded and then I left.
And I worried
All week I went to my classes, my first classes, summoned my best teacher energy, looked at the students in front of me grateful for their smiles and their cooperation and their questions. The distraction from my worry.
Worrying is exhausting.
Tomorrow, rested from a long weekend, I’ll send her off again. Send her off with a cough that’s subsiding, that doesn’t need constant medication. I’ll send her off and I’ll worry less. I’ll remind her to take care of herself, to speak up for what she needs. I’ll meet the eye of the teacher who understands a mother’s worry.
I’ll kiss her goodbye and send her into class.
And I’ll trust.