By Beck

The Boy got rushed to the hospital from his doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, which was pretty exciting. And by “pretty exciting” I mean – of course – that I was terrified to an almost wordless extent.

Because he is very, very big for his age, no one ever presumes that he is actually only a 7 year old boy. And so I was standing in the x-ray room, safely behind the glass screen and laughing and laughing as the flustered and very young tech tried to explain to what she thought was a BIG kid how to stand for his chest x-ray. (and then I straightened everything out, not being cruel.) But even as I was laughing, there was still this haunting feeling that things were going – right that very minute, right NOW – very, very wrong, that we were on a path that led nowhere good.

The Boy had his x-rays and the young tech asked him if he’d like to see them and BOY WOULD HE EVER. And so we saw his ribcage and his lungs (clear, thankyouthankyouthankyou) and “Do you see that?” said the young x-ray tech. “That’s gas!” and I stared at the ghost image of his strong young heart.

The emergency room doctor was kindly and unrushed and had a disconcertingly deep voice and reassured me that The Boy was fine and on the mend and The Boy was by this point so bored that he could have practically squirmed his way home. And I was so happy that I sobbed all the way home, a whole week’s worth of pent-up worry and nagging terror and The Boy told his little sister all about seeing the gas inside his stomach in great, gross detail.

When I was a teenager, I used to babysit for my husband’s cousin. My husband’s cousin looks rather eerily like my husband, and his wife is – like me – tall and dark-haired and strong-featured, and so I used to look at their kids and imagine that my future children would look much like them. How could they not? I figured.

But I was very wrong, and my children look nothing like their cousins, having instead their own faces and their own ways and I was amused yesterday to remember that, to think that my teenaged self would have been unable to pick my children out of a crowd, that I had no idea then what parenthood would actually end up being. And I did not forsee the combination of exhausted terror and amusement that I felt yesterday afternoon, watching my beautiful boy trying very very hard to listen to the x-ray tech as she tried to take pictures of his ribs and his lungs and yes, his gas, and his strong young heart that is both unseen and yet utterly known to me.

17 Responses to Pictures
  1. carrien (she laughs at the days)
    July 23, 2009 | 12:40 pm

    OH beck,

    My heart was in my throat reading that.

  2. Omaha Mama
    July 23, 2009 | 1:26 pm

    I’m glad everyone is okay. I would bawl too. Crying is very healing too, so it did you some good. Let it all out!

  3. inthefastlane
    July 23, 2009 | 1:38 pm

    I’ve had enough ER visits to know exactly how that feels. Being the mom hurts, even when you aren’t the one in physical pain.

  4. Reluctant Housewife
    July 23, 2009 | 1:38 pm

    I’m so glad he’s okay!

    I’m also blown away by the beauty of your writing.

  5. Tonggu Momma
    July 23, 2009 | 2:06 pm

    That last sentence made me choke up a little. And I’m glad he’s okay.

  6. Dorothy
    July 23, 2009 | 2:42 pm

    So glad The Boy is doing well!

  7. Nadia
    July 23, 2009 | 4:50 pm

    How scary! Glad he is doing well.

  8. patois
    July 23, 2009 | 5:23 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad he’s doing well. Whew!

  9. SuSBeacon
    July 23, 2009 | 5:33 pm


    I would have sobbed, too.

  10. josett
    July 23, 2009 | 6:56 pm

    I know exactly what you are talking about I had my experience this week my daughter wasn’t feeling well, no emergemcy room though just the nebulizer and not being able to breathe right.I am glad your boy is ok, my daughter is doing much better

  11. Susanne
    July 23, 2009 | 7:00 pm

    I have been in the ER enough times with each of my kids to know exactly how you feel! And I bawled everytime when things turned out good. So glad your boy is feeling better and please no more sickness for Beck and her family.

  12. Melissa
    July 23, 2009 | 8:12 pm

    My little one was in the hospital in April – he was admitted right from the doctor’s office and of course, I was a wreck because I was alone – my husband was at work and i don’t have any other family in the area. It’s an awful helpless place to be in. It took all I had not to cry while I was in the doctor’s office or in the hospital…

    I’m glad that everything is ok and I can completely empathize.

  13. Painted Maypole
    July 24, 2009 | 12:27 am

    so glad you are both on the mend

    and out came the tissues…. again…

  14. Kat
    July 24, 2009 | 12:43 am

    Everyone tries to tell you what it will be like to have children, but you just can’t grasp it until you have them. It is unfathomable.

    So glad the boy is doing well and good and all that was on the xray was some exciting gas. 🙂

  15. heidiannie
    July 24, 2009 | 8:25 am

    Our children keep us vulnerable. We want to be tough and strong and capable, but they are our
    weak spot- when they are hurting- we are in a world of pain. Good mothering- good writing.
    You don’t have to be super mom, just be there to support and comfort and encourage.

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    September 12, 2013 | 4:35 pm

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