Recently I was mulling over possible career options, and raised the idea of getting a nursing degree (flexible hours/shifts, great pay, etc.) Torbjorn snorted a [very unflattering] sort of guffaw, and looked up to see if I was serious. Unfortunately for him, I was.
He looked long and hard at me, and then said with uncharacteristic firmness "Kirsten. You would be a terrible nurse."
And I would.
I've got such minimal levels of sympathy for even the weepiest of small children. I'm a huge believer in the 'ignore the bump and maybe they won't cry' school of thought. I have even been known to sigh heavily and exclaim seriously? when presented with a self-inflected gardening wound dripping with blood. Sarcasm plays a heavy role in my bedside manner.
But sick kids are different. Small people with the flu have a way of melting my heart like nothing else: the hot pink cheeks, the weary achy bodies, the sad half-hearted coughs - it is an affliction they didn't ask for and don't understand. The only thing they know for sure is that their mom understands.
Here is the secret that many moms won't cop to: a sick kid means the chance to hold and hold and hold. A sick kid means you get to get in all of the loving that they are so quickly growing out of. A sick kid, no matter how long the legs or strong the arms, is willing to curl up on your lap and have their hair stroked. A sick kid will take the cool cloth on the forehead, and from the most true place in their heart say "I love you Mommy."
I spent much of my day holding, today. I got cups of water, found tissues, helped change sweat-dampened pajamas. I smoothed his straight dark hair over and over, and he closed his eyes and didn't protest. I thought to myself, I may be the worst nurse in the world. But right here, right now? I am the world's very best mom.