Wrong headed yesterday and wrong about Theo being alright.
Though he seemed fine when we went to the movies, just before the show started, my phone buzzed in my pocket.
"He's pretty red. And breathing funny," our babysitter said.
We were already standing, already moving our way through the darkened theater.
My husband and I, in times of urgency, move together easily, both cruising toward a solution. Day to day, when our movements are not so synchronized, I forget we have this skill. It is as satisfying as the crisis is alarming to find that we are, indeed, both level headed.
Home to find our boy the color of a beet. His eyes were wide with worry. He held a tissue clamped to his nose.
We piled in the car and headed to the E/R. We've been there before with my son. A febrile seizure, a split forehead, stitches to mend the spot hit by a thrown chair (kindergarten can, apparently be a bit wild.) Theo was sent back right away and he asked for my husband to accompany him.
I stayed in the waiting room with my daughter. She sat on my lap and we watched other people and their children. A mother and grandmother rushed to inquire about a boy who had been brought in by helicopter. Another mother tried to explain in broken english that her daughter had a pain in her "private place." A toddler with a fever drank Sprite poured from a McDonald's cup into his bottle and another boy cried and cried. Through it all, the intake nurse, a tall, man with a kind voice said again and again, "tell me what's wrong, Mom, tell me what hurts."
"What are you thinking?" I asked my daughter.
"I'm thinking nothing," she said. "I am listening to everything."
My husband sent cheerful text messages from inside which calmed me only a little.
Finally, we were allowed to join Theo and his dad and it was a great relief to see my boy sitting up, red faced, but smiling.
"You carry an Epi-Pen, don't you?" the doctor asked. His son, the same age as mine, had a peanut allergy, too.
"When we are camping," I said. "But not all the time."
I felt sheepish. Why didn't I carry it all the time?
Have I grown complacent? My kids are usually healthy. We are all blessed by this health. I don't have to think about their health every day and for this I am grateful. But I worry that Theo's allergy is like the bad news in the paper. It is something so scary to me that I ignore it entirely. I am not going to panic, but I am going to be mindful of this thing. David and I are calm in the face of crisis, but it would do us more good to be calm on a regular old day, too.
Yesterday was not my best day of parenting, but I am trying not to beat myself up. I am watchful. My boy is okay and I have an Epi-Pen next to the lipgloss in my pocketbook.