So here we are, Carolyn and I, back in the Emergency Department for a kidney infection. We've been doing this together for a long time. I remember a lot of midnight drives with her raving in Kelley's arms as her fever topped 104°F. Hours turning into days as we sat in hospital, scared that we were going to lose her. Scared that she would lose kidney function permanently and spend the rest of her life on dialysis. Just plain scared mostly.
I thought it would become easier as she got older. Doctors said she would outgrow the reflux eventually and the infections would become a thing of the past. No more midnight drives. It's been quite a few years since her last one. I thought we were all done with this. And yet...
Here we are, Carolyn and I. Back in the E.R. together. As family traditions go, this one I wish had never been established. She's nineteen now, a fine young woman in every sense. She is in charge of her life and taking care of her self.
And I'm still scared. Still worried about her, just like always. My Dad told me that your kid's arrival heralds the last decent night's sleep you'll have. Too true by half. She's nineteen - you'd think I would have learned to relax a bit by now...
Parenthood is defined by worry, I guess. I no longer get up in the middle of the night to check on her like I did when she was little. I haven't sat by her bed and rubbed her back to soothe her to sleep in ages. The worry is still there though, as I have discovered this ayem. All the old terrors clambered up from my subconscious and made themselves right at home again.
So here we are, Carolyn and I. Together again. Just like always.