There is another book by Nancy Tillman, author of Wherever You Are that I talked about on Rip's birthday, called The Spirit of Christmas and it is Gracie's favorite...we read it all year long. There is one line that floats through my head at random..."There are gentle things the season brings"
Yesterday we took Gracie to the allergist. It was a hellish experience. Not because anything is really wrong with her, but because the testing they do is painful and somehow I hadn't prepared myself for that aspect of things. It started with the "scratch test" which allegedly felt like a mosquito bite but left Gracie in tears.
Next was the chest x-ray, and even when you know everything is fine (and really, I did) holding your tiny girl's arms in the air while you watch her naked little chest squirm around with her heart beating 200 miles per hour is enough to do anyone in.
This all led to the drawing of blood. And a woman who could not for the life of her find the vein. I read somewhere once that a child feeds off your energy, so as I held Gracie down while she screamed bloody murder, I tried to be as soothing as I could- but the only thing running through my head was "Please God, Please God, Please God" Please God what, I don't know- Please God make my baby stop hurting, Please God keep me from punching this woman square in the face.
By the time it was all over, we were exhausted. Parke had to go back to work so Gracie and I did the only logical thing and went for a grilled cheese and milk shake. Ten minutes after what seemed like the longest ordeal of her short life, the child was happily munching on a sandwich and leaning her head against my shoulder. "There are gentle things the season brings"
Last night at 8:30 this doctor called to tell us Gracie's white blood cell count was high. I felt like I was going to throw up. I wasn't really listening, I finally blurted out "Does this mean she has something really bad, like cancer or something?!" He sounded surprised and said, "No, this means she has a sinus infection". Which in my defense, thanks for letting me know...but at 8:30 at night??
After I stopped shaking, I went back to Gracie's room. She was sound asleep, blankies and kitty cats curled up beside her. Hair in all directions, tummy out. Parenting is hard, parenting after loss is harder, but "there are gentle things the season brings".