A year ago I carried a broken child.
I walked from the doors of RMH of Delaware. To a hot car. Casts burrowing into my forearm like a rabid beast, reminding me: I’d broken her.
She cringed, even though I’d placed her more gently than I had imagined I could. She whimpered like I’d never heard. Her face was pale and her body felt limp.
A year ago we were discharged from the hospital with a child who was on a journey I have never experienced. That I never could. That I put her through.
As a parent
we will do things that make our children angry, hurt, upset. We will injure them accidentally, of course, but we will do it.
I will injure her time and time again with purpose. But will she ever understand it? Will the guilt and pain ever leave my heart. The days she spends mistrusting me. Doctors. Nurses. Screaming in pain or silenced from a litany of medication.
I will spend hours in surgical waiting rooms, recovery rooms. There will be days marked by a promise of discharge-to-come and then a shift change, a mix up. Tears will fall. They will flow like the first rain after a drought. They will leave our shoulders heaving, our chests tight.
A year ago. I carried my broken baby.
A year later
she completed her first week of summer camp.
And I grabbed her body into mine as I hustled her and Dave out the door and wept silently into her shoulder.
You are beautiful and smart and loving and kind and the very best Adelaide anyone can find.
I broke her and she put herself back together. Most days I wish she could do the same for me.