When you’re 12 weeks (or is it 13?) you know you’re alright. Or, almost alright. You can now tell more than your mother. You can tell your friends, your coworkers. The risk of miscarriage is no longer high. The risk of facing those who know such horrible news, if the worst is to happen, is so much less.
When he’s six months, you are virtually in the clear. All the statistics say so. Those SIDS statics. Those scary ones you wish you didn’t know about because it’s not like there’s anything you can do about them anyway. The crib is sans pillows, sans toys, sans bumpers. Just one child, hopefully warm, surrounded by nothing in that big new crib.
When he’s 2 and a half and has Bronchiolitis, which those nice people in the ER tell you at 10pm on a work night as you hold a struggling, wheezing toddler who’s yelling “Walk!” and “Go now!” while you read instructions on how to administer three new medicines you still have to pick up, you are thankful this didn’t happen before he was 1 when children are more prone for it become severe. But that won’t stop you from worrying. From getting up every hour throughout the night to check on him, to make sure he’s still okay, still breathing. And probably to do more than just put a hand on his back to feel the lift of his lungs, but also to lay your finger by his nose to feel exhaust of his breath. The coughing that sounded bad all week is now a reassurance that he has breath to cough. And maybe if I hear a cough I can go back to sleep. Maybe for just one more hour.
You live by these milestones, these statistics. Grow quickly, little child. Grow strong and resilient. Grow your vocabulary so you can tell me words like “hard to breathe” or “I am about to vomit all over your pants.” Grow to the age that I can stop worrying about you, which I am beginning to suspect doesn’t exist.