You spin away from your snack and run to me across the living room, pausing to lift one knee every few steps. I have just started my workout and you are excited to join.
”Are you marching?” I ask.
”Yeah, yeah, yeah!” You nod your head to the beat and stomp circles around me. When we switch from high knees to squats, you hurl your diapered bottom to the floor and spring back up, grinning. I can only hope you love your body this much in five, ten, twenty years.
“Mama, I’m tired.” You have been sick for a few days and telling me you’re ready for bed before 6 pm. I drop my plan to clean the kitchen and head to help you brush your teeth. Your sister fell asleep in my arms 15 minutes ago and is already in bed, wrapped up in a blanket in just a diaper because I wasn’t expecting her to go down that early—she is much better than yesterday but still not quite herself.
You push the button on your light-up toothbrush, take your turn and then hand it to me to go back over your beautiful tiny teeth.
”Will you snuggle me, Mama? I’m really tired.”
”Yes, baby. Let’s just stay in your clothes and lie down.”
You curl up against me with your birthday bear curled up against you, and your breathing deepens within just a couple of minutes. Your curls cover half of my face, and I hesitate before moving them and resituating myself. How many more nights will you need me like this? Not enough, I know.
“Reed, Reed, Reed. Can you look at me, baby?”
I lie you down on your right side on the bed and crouch in front of you. You have just convulsed in my arms. This is completely new to me, but I am calm. I unzip your red jammies and move my hands from your head to your belly as your body starts to heat up. You begin to moan and your eyes open and close, focusing on nothing. A febrile seizure. You’ve never had one, and neither has your sister, but I’ve read about them.
”Daniel! I think she’s having a seizure!” I cry out from the bedroom and your Dada comes running in with his phone, ready to search symptoms. You meet the description of a simple febrile seizure perfectly, and I continue talking to you as you eventually wake up, exhausted from what has just happened.
I stay up with you all night, monitoring and noting every movement. You nurse and I pray and kiss your head, and then pray and kiss your head again.